Russian media reports that Intel and Microsoft have restarted operations in Russia and Belarus after being initially halted as a result of the former’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions imposed on the country.
Intel reportedly suspended all shipments to Russia in February 2022, two months before halting all business operations there, leaving Russian customers without access to software updates and other downloads.
It was also reported that Microsoft has since allowed Windows 11 updates in Russia, however, customers in the country are still unable to download and install the company’s latest operating system.
Intel and Microsoft in Russia
As a result, Russian media reported that blockades prevented companies like Intel from fulfilling their warranty obligations, while some customers turned to VPNs, torrents and other sources to find copies.
According to Intel (via Tom’s gear (opens in a new tab)): “access to resources that meet driver update requirements, such as Intel Download Center and Intel Download Support Assistant, is part of Intel’s warranty commitments,” suggesting that Intel may have restored access to certain products solely based on warranty compliance.
There is talk of another source Tom’s gear that although Intel blocked downloads in Russia in early 2022, access was restored later that year.
Some Russian media sources claim that Intel’s download portal can once again be accessed without the need for tools like a VPN, however the portal must have been found by a search engine as the main part of Intel’s website is still said to be unavailable in Russia.
TechRadar Pro contacted both companies about resuming operations in Russia. Intel told us:
“In February and March 2022, Intel suspended (opens in a new tab) all shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus, respectively. In April 2022, Intel announced that it would suspension (opens in a new tab) your business activities in Russia.
There have been no recent changes to our business; Intel continues to comply with all applicable export laws and sanctions in the countries where it does business. This includes compliance with sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia and Belarus by the United States and allied countries. Access to resources that meet driver update requirements, such as Intel Download Center (opens in a new tab) AND Intel Download Support Assistant (IDSA) (opens in a new tab)are part of Intel’s warranty commitments.”
A Microsoft spokesperson said:
“As we shared earlier (opens in a new tab)we have stopped the sale of all new products and services in Russia and are complying with the sanctions imposed by the EU, UK and US.”