Microsoft’s official distributors in Russia have imposed restrictions on sales of Microsoft software to more than 200 Russian companies following new US sanctions, according to notifications circulated by the distributors. The restrictions by the US seem to have become tougher from November 28 and things seem to be getting tighter.
The new measures cut the duration of loans that can be offered to Russian financial firms subject to sanctions to 14 days from 30 days and to 60 days from 90 days for Russian energy companies on a US sanctions list.
The earlier restrictions had primarily affected Western banks lending to Russian firms but with such short financing periods, swathes of companies supplying goods and services to Russian clients fear they could fall foul of the rules too.
Some Western firms have been advised by lawyers that the U.S. Treasury Department could, in theory, take the view this constituted financing in violation of the sanctions, according to several people involved in the discussions.
One of the two Microsoft distributors, a Russian company called Merlion, said in its notification to partners that all sanctioned buyers of Microsoft licenses must pay within tight deadlines, or even pay upfront in some cases.
Microsoft has reportedly commented on same and said, “Microsoft has a strong commitment to complying with legal requirements and has robust processes around the world to help ensure that our partners are in compliance as well.”...