Putin bans the use of foreign software for government agencies in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree which prohibits the use of foreign software on critical infrastructure by government agencies. In addition to that, it also prohibits the use for government customers. The decree is available on the official legal information website. This appears to be Russia’s move against foreign tech companies after applying a number of sanctions against the country. Moreover, the Russian president is not satisfied with the “foreign talks” on his action in the conflict with Ukraine.

From March 31, buyers will no longer be able to acquire foreign software without permission. The foreign software ban will start on January 1, 2025. As you can see, this is not something that works from day zero. There’s a big move happening on March 31 that prevents buyers from acquiring foreign software without approval. However, the decline in the use of foreign software will not be a requirement until 2025. There are still two full years before that happens. The government infrastructure will therefore have plenty of time to adapt. Until then, we expect the country to develop its own software solutions.

Russia is fast becoming an isolated nation

This decision is just another step to keep Russia as an isolated nation and counter the sanctions applied by Western companies. After the conflict, we saw many tech companies comply with sanctions against Russia. In response to this, the government has banned major technologies there such as Facebook, Instagram, among others. Google also applies sanctions against the country, such as preventing Russians from buying apps or logging into services with their Google accounts. Also, the company no longer allows Russian manufacturers to certify Android smartphones. Now, these manufacturers will move to HarmonyOS. There are even rumors suggesting that Russia might even ban Google from the country. The country is considering piracy and a third-party store for Android apps.

The war against Ukraine is slowly turning Russia into a very isolated country with no foreign technology. Companies like Samsung have suspended shipments to the country. Plus, we expect the list to only grow. In fact, there are ongoing negotiations as the path progresses. In recent days, a silver lining has surfaced with Russia scaling back its efforts against kyiv and moving into the regions with separatist troops.

Coming back to this point, Putin is also asking the government to approve requirements for software that will be used on critical infrastructure. It also calls on the government to develop strict rules for foreign software in facilities that are not considered critical infrastructure.

Ashley C. Reynolds