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Nokia and Ericsson to leave the Russian market

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Ericsson has ceased operations in Russia in order to comply with international sanctions imposed in the weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nokia, too, has announced its intention to abandon the Russian market, having already ceased supplies and begun to relocate R&D out of the country. However, Nokia intends to continue supporting the maintenance of current equipment on humanitarian grounds.


Over the years, Ericsson has collaborated with a number of Russian mobile providers. The company recently formed a strategic relationship with MTS to create private 5G networks, as well as the testing and implementing next-generation technology with the operator. Ericsson has said that it will indefinitely cease relevant operations with Russian clients. The vendor also stated that it is in discussions with customers and partners, and that staff in Russia have been placed on paid leave. In Russia, Ericsson employs around 600 people.


In a stock market notification released a day after their competitor Ericsson said it would cease its activity in Russia indefinitely, Nokia said it had been evident from the early days of the invasion of Ukraine that continuing business operations in Russia would not be viable. Despite their withdrawal, Nokia plans to seek sanctions-compliant licenses so that it may continue to assist in the maintenance of existing network equipment. The company did not say how long it planned to provide this service. Furthermore, Nokia’s plan to leave Russia will affect around 2,000 employees, with some of them perhaps being offered jobs elsewhere in the world.


In Russia, where Chinese businesses such as Huawei and ZTE have a larger market share, both Nokia and Ericsson were each responsible for a low single-digit proportion of sales. Russia is also at odds with Finland and Sweden, the respective home nations of Nokia and Ericsson, over those two countries’ desire to join the NATO military alliance.