Russia considers charging companies for foreign software usage

  • Russia is considering charging domestic companies for using foreign software.
  • Aim to reduce dependency on foreign technology and promote Russian-made software.
  • Focus on achieving technological independence amidst Western sanctions.

In an effort to reduce reliance on foreign technology and boost the adoption of Russian-made software, Russia is contemplating imposing charges on domestic companies for using foreign software. This move comes as President Vladimir Putin prioritises achieving technological independence amidst Western sanctions linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

Push for technological independence

President Putin’s decree in May emphasised the need for at least 80% of Russian companies in key economic sectors to transition to using Russian software by 2030. The aim is to enhance domestic capabilities and reduce the country’s vulnerability to restrictions on technology imports. With the sanctions impacting Russia’s access to foreign technology and equipment, Moscow is intensifying efforts to bolster its own technological infrastructure.

Also read: European nations condemn Russian cyber attacks

Economic incentives for transition

Digital Development Minister Maksut Shadaev highlighted the intention to create economic motivations for businesses to switch to Russian software. The proposed levy on Russian firms aims to level the playing field between foreign and domestic software solutions and is expected to be linked to tax benefits. Shadaev mentioned at an IT conference that this approach would incentivize companies to adopt Russian-made solutions and reduce their reliance on foreign software.

Also read: Microsoft ceases cloud services in Russia amid Western sanctions

Details are yet to be disclosed

While the specifics of the proposed fee and its collection process remain undisclosed, the introduction of this levy is seen as a strategic move to bolster the use of Russian software and minimise dependency on foreign technology in the long term. It is anticipated that the charges will provide a financial incentive for companies to invest in and utilise Russian software solutions to comply with the government’s directive.


Summer Ren

Summer Ren is an intern reporter at BTW Media, covering tech trends. She graduated from Cardiff University and had experience in the financial industry as well as video production skills. Send tips to

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