WSJ.com reported that Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and its possible link to the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 is impacting the western technology sector.
According to the report, Russia’s parliament is drafting a bill to reduce the country’s reliance on foreign technology suppliers following U.S. sanctions against some of its biggest firms. The move could hurt global technology vendors such as International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard Corp. (HPQ).
The bill, currently being prepared by Russia’s lower house of parliament, would make government and state-run companies give preference to local software and hardware providers, and favor products that don’t have imported, licensed components.
This move comes as U.S. technology vendors continue to deal with the fallout from revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of a massive Internet spying effort by U.S. intelligence agencies. This has led several countries, including China and Russia, to push for an agenda of using domestic technology providers.
The bill’s preparation was accelerated after reports that American technology companies might cut off service to Russian banks to comply with U.S. sanctions triggered by Russia’s role in the Ukraine. The proposal may be submitted for a vote in parliament in September.
According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), SAP and Cisco Systems (CSCO) brought in a combined $8.1 billion in revenue from Russia last year, with Hewlett-Packard and IBM making up about 78% of total sales.