- Amazon has suspended shipments of retail products to customers in Russia and Belarus following the former's invasion of Ukraine.
- Additionally, Amazon said in a company post it will not accept new customers to its Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit or third-party sellers to its online retail platform who are based in Russia or Belarus.
- The company also suspended Russian access to Prime Video and stopped taking new orders for New World, the only video game Amazon sells directly in Russia.
A host of brands, retailers, restaurants and other major corporations have recently cut off or sold out of their business in Russia. The moves are a broad response of Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine and wage a bloody battle within the country — which within roughly two weeks has already led to hundreds, and potentially thousands, of civilian deaths and mass emigration.
The pullbacks by companies such as Amazon are voluntary and go beyond the sanctions applied by Western countries in an effort to isolate Putin and Russia. Some, such as Uniqlo and McDonald's, faced pressure from consumers prior to halting their business in Russia.
Among others, Nike, Apple, H&M Group, Ikea and Under Armour have paused sales and shipments in Russia, or closed stores, or all of the above, while off-pricer TJX Cos. said it exited its minority stake in Russian retailer Familia "in support of the people of Ukraine."
Amazon is among the highest-profile corporations to halt business in Russia. It's not clear how much in sales the e-commerce giant does in Russia. Amazon makes no mention of the country in its 10-K, nor did Russia come up in the company's most recent earnings call in February, as tensions over Ukraine were mounting. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for details about the size of its business in Russia.
The company said in its post that "unlike some other U.S. technology providers, Amazon and AWS have no data centers, infrastructure, or offices in Russia, and we have a long-standing policy of not doing business with the Russian government."
Along with its recently announced moves, Amazon said it has provided cybersecurity assistance for Ukraine through its AWS unit and has donated $5 million to nongovernmental organizations providing support to Ukrainians and matching up to an additional $5 million in donations from the company's employees. More than 10,000 employees have donated so far, and tens of thousands of customers have donated to Save the Children and Red Cross through the Amazon's home page.
Regardless of the size of Amazon's Russian business, the company's prominence in the industry may add more pressure to others who do business in Russia to suspend operations as the much of the West seeks deescalation of the conflict and continued Ukrainian independence.