Russia to Reduce Reliance On Microsoft (MSFT) Products: Report

It looks like China is not alone in trying to reduce the usage of US-based tech products. In a move that could hurt sales at vendors such as Microsoft and IBM Corp. Bloomberg news reports that Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, is drafting a bill that would cut the country’s reliance on US tech products and on foreign technology suppliers.

Russia’s executive secretary of the commission for the State Duma, Andrey Chernogorov, said in a Bberg phone interview that “This all has to do with sanctions.”

“Given the current international tensions, substituting imports with local software and hardware becomes the key to ensuring self sufficiency,” he said.

The Russian parliament is currently in the process of drafting a bill which would require government agencies and state-run enterprises to give preference to local software and hardware companies to replace products from Microsoft and IBM. Chernogorov said the commission accelerated preparation for the bill after reports that American tech companies may cut off services to Russian banks and companies to comply with U.S. sanctions. According to Chernogorov, the proposal may be submitted for a parliamentary vote in September.

Russia’s moves are part of its strategy to improve the nation’s self-sufficiency at a time when it faces fresh Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), IBM Corp (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Oracle (ORCL) and SAP AG (SAP) had combined revenue of $8.1 billion from Russia last year, according to the report, which cited estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences. HP and IBM together accounted for almost 78% of the figure.

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