* Cisco, Nike join MacDonald's, Renault in quitting
* New Russian law may encourage more foreign firms to go
* 'Trickle is becoming a torrent,' says analyst
June 23 - U.S. companies Cisco Systems
and Nike plan to fully exit Russia, the two firms told
Reuters on Thursday, as the pace of Western firms departing
Telecoms equipment maker Cisco will wind down its business
in Russia and Belarus, the company said. Nike is making
a full exit from Russia three months after suspending its
operations there, the sportswear maker said.
Foreign companies seeking to exit Russia over the war in
Ukraine face the prospect of a new law being passed in the
coming weeks allowing Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal
penalties. That has encouraged some businesses to accelerate
"What was a trickle is becoming a torrent", said Paul
Musgrave, a political science professor at the University of
Massachusetts, commenting on the latest round of companies
announcing they would leave.
Cisco suspended business operations, including sales and
services, in Russia in March.
"We have now made the decision to begin an orderly wind-down
of our business in Russia and Belarus," it said in an emailed
statement on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Cisco's rival International Business
Machines Corp began winding down its business in Russia
and Microsoft said it was making substantial cuts to its Russian
The withdrawal of top technology firms such as Cisco, IBM
and Microsoft limits access to critical equipment for Russian
businesses and households. They may now have to depend on older
equipment and domestic alternatives.
Cisco has offered relocation options to its few hundred
employees in those countries, it said. The company did not
disclose which countries the employees were offered as
RIVALS MAY BENEFIT
Companies heading for the exit may struggle to return, said
Musgrave. "This presents opportunities for domestic firms in
some markets but even more for brands from China and elsewhere
to make inroads," he said.
Nike said on March 3 it would temporarily suspend operations
at all its Nike-owned and operated stores in Russia. It has now
decided to leave entirely, it said Thursday.
Cisco and Nike join the likes of McDonald's and Renault in
making complete exits from Russia. More companies are expected
to leave in the coming weeks ahead of the new law.
The law, which could be in place within weeks, allows
Russia to appoint administrators over companies owned by
foreigners in "unfriendly" countries, who want to quit Russia as
the conflict with Ukraine drags down its economy.
Nike's rival Adidas said in March it was shutting its
Russian stores and pausing online sales.
Adidas currently has no plans to resume business in Russia,
the German sportswear company told Reuters on Thursday.
"The operation of Adidas' stores and Adidas' online retail
in Russia continues to be suspended until further notice, this
also applies to the delivery of goods to Russia," it said in an
(Writing by Matt Scuffham and Richa Naidu; Editing by Edmund