Microsoft is now blocking Russian firms from using its cloud services

Cloud computing graphics.
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Blackboard)

Microsoft will stop providing cloud services to users in Russia later this weeks as part of the sanctions package imposed on the country by its Western peers. 

The company has set up a dedicated Telegram channel to support its clients, and urged everyone to make backups of their data as soon as possible. 

Power BI, and Dynamics CRM are just some of the tools that will no longer be available to Russian customers from March 20.

Expected development

As per the reports, Elena Volotovskaya, VP for investments at Russian IT company Softline, confirmed the news, saying all Microsoft clients received a warning letter earlier this month. 

Volotovskaya also said that other major global cloud providers, Amazon, and Google, will soon follow in Microsoft’s footsteps for the same reason, and that local companies should switch to local service providers, if they haven’t done so already.

While disruptive, this news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone in Russia, claims general director of the Basalt SPO company, Alexey Smirnov. The 12th sanctions package, part of which is the removal of Western cloud services, was adopted on December 19, 2023, so Russian firms had roughly three months to prepare for the inevitable. 

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago, Ukraine’s western allies (the U.S., the majority of EU countries, and more), have been pressuring Russia into giving up on its “special military operation” through economic sanctions, while giving Ukraine significant military aid in weapons and ammunition.

Arguably the biggest disruption in the Russian market was caused by the country’s removal from the SWIFT financial transaction processing system. The two biggest card and payment service providers, Visa and MasterCard, have also quit the market.

Via Windows Report

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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.