Nokia to pull out of Russian market amid Ukraine war

Telecoms equipment maker Nokia has announced that it is pulling out of the Russian market.

Pekka Lundmark, the company’s CEO, told Reuters that the decision to quit Russia was “the only option”.

The company is going a step further than rival Ericsson which said on Monday it was indefinitely suspending its business in the country.

Hundreds of foreign companies are cutting ties with Russia following its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and after Western sanctions against Moscow.

“We just simply do not see any possibilities to continue in the country under the current circumstances,” Mr Lundmark said in an interview.

He added that Nokia would continue to support customers during its exit, and it was not possible to say at this stage how long the withdrawal would take.

Customer Support

Nokia is applying for the relevant licences to support customers in compliance with current sanctions, the company said in a statement.

Reuters reports that both Nokia and Ericsson made a low single-digit percentage of sales in Russia, where Chinese companies such as Huawei (HWT.UL) and ZTE (000063.SZ) have a bigger share.

The company says it does not expect this decision to impact its 2022 outlook but it would lead to a provision in the first quarter of about 100 million euros ($109 million).

Apart from its war with Ukraine, Russia is also at loggerheads with Finland and Sweden, the home countries of Nokia and Ericsson respectively, over their interest in joining the NATO military alliance.

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