Cisco, Nike quit Russia, as pace of Western firms leaving speeds up

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U.S. companies Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) and Nike (NKE.N) plan to fully exit Russia, the two firms told Reuters on Thursday, as the pace of Western firms departing accelerated.

Telecoms equipment maker Cisco will wind down its business in Russia and Belarus, the company said. Nike (NKE.N) is making a full exit from Russia three months after suspending its operations there, the sportswear maker said.

Foreign companies seeking to exit Russia over the war in Ukraine face the prospect of a new law being passed in the coming weeks allowing Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal penalties. That has encouraged some businesses to accelerate their departure.

“What was a trickle is becoming a torrent”, said Paul Musgrave, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts, commenting on the latest round of companies announcing they would leave.

Cisco suspended business operations, including sales and services, in Russia in March.

“We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down of our business in Russia and Belarus,” it said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Cisco’s rival International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) began winding down its business in Russia and Microsoft said it was making substantial cuts to its Russian business.

The withdrawal of top technology firms such as Cisco, IBM and Microsoft limits access to critical equipment for Russian businesses and households. They may now have to depend on older equipment and domestic alternatives.

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