- Ericsson and Nokia are preparing to leave Russia completely after they fulfilled their contractual and humanitarian obligations.
- The duo already announced that they suspended their operations in the country shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- After Ericsson and Nokia left the country, Russian mobile operators will be almost completely dependent on Huawei and ZTE, both Chinese companies.
Nordic telecom equipment manufacturers Ericsson and Nokia announced their plans to completely exit Russia. The duo plans to exit the country at the end of 2022. Ericsson and Nokia had already suspended deliveries to their partners in Russia during the early stages of the invasion. After Ericsson and Nokia’s exit, Russian mobile operators MTS and Tele2 will become dependent on Huawei and ZTE, both Chinese companies that didn’t make any comments about the situation yet.
Fulfilling contractual and humanitarian obligations
The telecom industry has an exemption from global sanctions on Russia. These companies are suspended their operations in Russia but they are remaining active in the country to provide limited maintenance of critical networks to comply with contractual and humanitarian obligations.
Ericsson stated that the company is working closely with customers and employees and will wind down business activities in Russia to complete its customer obligations over the coming months. The company currently has approximately 400 employees in the country and will provide financial and well-being support to all employees. Ericsson also stated that most of the employees were already on paid leave. An Ericsson spokesperson said,
« Since announcement of indefinite suspension of business operations in Russia in April 2022, we have been working through the implications closely with our customers and employees. Ericsson will gradually wind down business activities in Russia as we complete our customer obligations over the coming months. Ericsson currently has 400 employees in Russia and we are fully committed to provide financial and well-being support to all employees who will be affected. Many of our employees were already on paid leave. »
Nokia also stated that their only remaining activity in Russia is limited maintenance of critical networks as a part of their contractual and humanitarian obligations. Nokia has approximately 2,000 employees in Russia and the company is looking to find jobs for some of its employees in other countries. Nokia has vacated all of its offices in Russia and by the end of 2022, the vast majority of its employees are expected to move on from Nokia. The company will retain a formal presence in the country until the legal closure is completed.