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Nokia joins Ericsson as telecom giants leave Russia.


Nokia, whose telecommunications equipment plays an important role in providing internet and communications in Russia, said on Tuesday it was leaving the country due to the invasion of Ukraine.

The company had already suspended deliveries, halted new business, and started moving research and development work out of Russia because of the war. Finland-based Nokia is a leading manufacturer of telecommunications equipment used by Russian companies to provide internet and wireless services.

News of the departure closely followed a similar announcement on Monday by Ericsson, a Swedish rival. The departures could cause difficulties as Russia seeks to expand and maintain its telecommunications networks, which are built with equipment from both companies.

Last month, The New York Times reported on Nokia’s role in enabling its wireless networks to connect to a vast government surveillance device used by Russian intelligence. Documents have revealed that the company knew how its technology was used as part of the surveillance network, which human rights groups and European courts have criticized.

Nokia has denied any wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, Nokia said it was concerned about deteriorating internet access in Russia as independent news sources became harder to find inside the country. Nokia said it was seeking licenses in line with Western sanctions to maintain existing networks.

The two Nordic companies’ biggest telecommunications rival, Chinese giant Huawei, has not said whether it will continue to operate in Russia. Rebuffed by the United States in recent years, it has devoted resources to research and development there.

Huawei is expected to gain a large chunk of the market after the departures of Ericsson and Nokia, but analysts have warned that new sanctions against Russia could limit its ability to work in the country.

nytimes

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