AWS rejects new sign-ups and Microsoft suspends new sales in Russia

As the Ukrainian government steps up its pleas for assistance, Amazon and Microsoft are suspending services in Russia.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Amazon on Tuesday said that Amazon Web Services is no longer accepting new sign-ups based in Russia or Belarus, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

The announcement comes after the Ukrainian government asked Amazon and Microsoft, two of the world's largest cloud services providers, to suspend services to its Russian clients. 

"Unlike other US technology providers, AWS has no data centers, infrastructure, or offices in Russia, and we have a long-standing policy of not doing business with the Russian government," Amazon wrote in a blog post updated Tuesday. 

"We have also stopped allowing new sign-ups for AWS in Russia and Belarus. Our biggest customers using AWS in Russia are companies who are headquartered outside of the country and have some development teams there."

Microsoft similarly said in a blog post last Friday that it will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia. 

"In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions," Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote. 

On Sunday, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, shared via Twitter his direct appeals for assistance to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Amazon founder and executive chairman Jeff Bezos. 

"I urge you to reconsider your current operations in the Russian Federation up to the suspension of the provision of all AWS services," he wrote to Bezos. "Suspending the provision of all AWS services in the Russian Federation will support a global united motion of many governments and businesses who have chosen long-term stability and growth over potential temporary profit losses."

In his letter to Nadella, Fedorov thanked Microsoft for suspending new sales in Russia and asked the company to go further: "We appeal to you to stop relationships with all Russia-based clients and partners, including providing Microsoft products like Teams, Skype, GitHub, Microsoft 365." 

Fedorov noted that a number of other major tech companies, including Oracle and SAP, have already suspended operations in Russia. 

A representative for Microsoft told ZDNet that the company has nothing further to share about its operations in Russia at this time.

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