Software giant SAP is closing down its cloud services in Russia, a move that expands its withdrawal from that country in the wake of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
SAP, based in Waldorf, Germany, said in a statement issued Thursday that it was “stopping all sales and shutting down cloud operations in Russia.”
SAP had previously announced in a 2 March blog post that the multinational company was “pausing all sales of SAP services and products in Russia” and its ally Belarus and had halted shipments of new products to Russia – all in alignment with sanctions being levied against Russia by the U.S. and European countries.
CEO Christian Klein wrote in the 2 March blog, titled “Standing in Solidarity,” that “economic sanctions against Russia are an important mechanism in the efforts to restore peace.
“We are in constant exchange with governments around the world, have every confidence in their guidance, and fully support the actions taken so far,” Klein wrote in the blog post.
But SAP’s cloud-based services continued to be available in Russia, according to a Reuters story on Thursday, which said that Klein, in a recent newspaper interview, had defended continuing to provide cloud services to some Russian customers in healthcare, energy and other industries not directly affected by sanctions.
The Reuters story said Ukraine has asked cloud computing giants like SAP and Microsoft to cut off their IT services to Russia.
In this week’s statement titled “SAP Continues to Stand in Solidarity with the People of Ukraine,” SAP said it is “stopping all sales and shutting down cloud operations in Russia, fully implementing international sanctions, and donating both technology and humanitarian aid.”
“Beyond implementing sanctions and stopping all sales, we are actively shutting down our cloud operations in Russia,” SAP said in the latest statement. “We have received questions about SAP’s ability to shut down all existing products for Russian customers. There are customers in Russia that have bought and deployed their SAP products on premise and run these products within their own internal IT departments. This means that regardless of any SAP decision not to provide support or engagement of any kind, these customers are still able to continue using these products independently of SAP.”
The company said it is using its technology to help multi-national aid organisations “address the humanitarian and refugee needs on the ground,” including ensuring that aid groups and healthcare workers can get supplies.
“On March 9, we enabled suppliers on SAP Business Network to declare their readiness to provide humanitarian aid; some 1500 have already done so. We’re also helping the Ukrainian government order supplies for hospitals so that they can get urgently needed equipment as quickly and easily as possible,” SAP said.
The company also said that donations from SAP and its employees had surpassed €3 million and that more than 4000 employees had offered housing and other aid to refugees. SAP office space is also being used to store donations such as food and medicine, the company said.