Russia may impose fees on businesses using foreign software

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Russia may impose fees on businesses using foreign software
Russia may impose fees on businesses using foreign software

Maksut Shadaev, the minister of digital development, suggested that Russia might impose fees on domestic companies that utilize software from outside sources as part of its efforts to wean itself off of foreign technology.

As Moscow looks to reduce reliance on foreign software and strengthen its own, Digital Development Minister Maksut Shadaev was cited as suggesting on Tuesday that Russia may tax domestic businesses to use software from elsewhere.

As Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine aim to impede Moscow’s ability to purchase technology and equipment from outside that could aid it on the battlefield, President Vladimir Putin has made gaining technological independence a top priority.

Putin signed an order in early May mandating that by 2030, at least 80% of Russian businesses operating in important economic sectors switch to using software produced in Russia.

Despite an EU sanctions package passed last December that forbids corporations from providing enterprise and design-related software to Russia, many Russian businesses continue to operate on Western software.

Shadaev claimed that imposing a tax on Russian businesses would “equalize” software developed in Russia and elsewhere.

Shadaev was quoted as saying at an IT conference, “We believe that we need to create additional economic incentives for businesses to switch to Russian solutions, and this should be linked to certain tax motivations.”

He made no mention of the suggested charge or the method of collection.

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