Russia plans more support for suppliers and IT sector amid sanctions

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin delivers a speech during a meeting with members of the Security Council in Moscow, Russia February 21, 2022. Sputnik/Alexey Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

March 11 (Reuters) - Russia's government on Friday proposed a raft of measures, including some for suppliers of state-owned companies and its IT sector, as it seeks to weather the impact of Western sanctions on its economy.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the government was actively working on a third package of measures to counteract the sanctions, which would seek to support small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as systemically important firms.

One measure will give firms under Western sanctions the right to withhold the names of parties they are working with.

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The finance ministry said suppliers to state-controlled companies would be absolved of fines if they fail to meet contractual obligations this year owing to Western sanctions.

"Suppliers are experiencing difficulties fulfilling their contracts under earlier-agreed terms due to sanctions," the ministry said.

The digital ministry reacted to a mass exodus of Western firms by suggesting Russian IT companies begin urgent discussions with foreign firms about a phased transfer of technical support components, to limit disruption.

It asked firms to send it information about any foreign companies' products and services that they had contracted to receive or paid for.

And it said the heads of foreign companies' Russian offices should not be held liable for their companies' actions, acknowledging that they were not the final decision makers.

"We are sure that if foreign companies that are suspending or stopping their activity do not resume their work in Russia, then the niches occupied by these companies will be quickly filled with Russian solutions, as well as by products of companies from countries that have not introduced corresponding restrictions," the digital ministry said in a statement.

It said it was ready to consult with and assist foreign companies on issues including payments.

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Reporting by Reuters; editing by Alex Richardson, Jason Neely and Kevin Liffey

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