Amazon, Microsoft and Google have suspended cloud sales in Russia

As the war in Ukraine continues, companies as varied as Exxon, Visa, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have suspended sales in Russia. Tech companies like Adobe, Apple and PayPal have joined in over the last couple of weeks.

We queried the world’s top cloud infrastructure vendors (including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Cloudflare) to find out how each was reacting to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Each company let their public blog posts stand as the message they wished to share, with the exception of Google Cloud, which sent a brief statement stating its position.

In a blog post on March 4, AWS indicated that it has no data centers in Russia, and as a matter of policy, it does not do business with the Russian government. It stated that while it had Russian customers, they were all headquartered outside of the country, though it stopped short of saying it would suspend sales. That changed on March 8, when the company updated the blog post to indicate it had “stopped allowing new sign-ups for AWS in Russia and Belarus.”

Microsoft also took the action of suspending sales to Russia. “We are announcing today that we will suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia,” Brad Smith wrote in a blog post on March 4 announcing the action. That presumably includes Azure infrastructure services.

As for Google, the last of the big three cloud infrastructure vendors, it said, “We can confirm we are not accepting new Google Cloud customers in Russia at this time. We will continue to closely monitor developments.”

IBM has taken a similar position, announcing in a March 7 blog post written by CEO Arvind Krishna that it was suspending sales in Russia. “I’ve heard from many of you in response to last week’s announcement regarding the war in Ukraine, and I appreciate your feedback. First, let me be very clear — we have suspended all business in Russia,” Krishna wrote in the post.

Cloudflare, which is not a pure cloud infrastructure vendor, helps provide secure internet access via hundreds of data centers around the world, including Russia and Ukraine. As an internet provider, the company thinks it’s important to keep the internet running in the country in spite of calls to shut down service there:

“Beyond this, we have received several calls to terminate all of Cloudflare’s services inside Russia. We have carefully considered these requests and discussed them with government and civil society experts. Our conclusion, in consultation with those experts, is that Russia needs more Internet access, not less,” the company wrote in a blog post.

It’s worth noting that in a report published this week, IDC found that the economic impact on cloud companies taking these actions will likely be minimal. “While IDC expects a steep decline and slow recovery for ICT spending in Russia and Ukraine, the global impact of this decline will be somewhat limited. Combined the two countries only account for 5.5% of all ICT spending in Europe and 1% worldwide,” the firm reported.