Slack Suspends Russian Accounts

The company said the move was in compliance with sanctions issued by the Biden Administration

Business communication platform Slack has begun terminating accounts associated with Russian organizations.

The platform, which is owned by Salesforce, has become an integral tool for companies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies with a largely remote structure especially use Slack during the course of business for internal communication.

In a statement to Axios on March 16, the company cited sanctions issued against Russia by the Biden administration.

“Slack is required to take action to comply with sanctions regulations in the U.S. and other countries where we operate, including in some circumstances suspending accounts without prior notice, as mandated by law,” the company said. “We are in contact with affected customers regarding the impact of these actions on their account status, where permitted by law.”

Companies subject to the sanctions cannot access their accounts or data associated with the accounts although Slack says it is not deleting the information.

Salesforce released a statement in support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in late February.

We are heartbroken by the violence and loss of life due to the invasion of Ukraine,” Salesforce said on March 7. “We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and we are hopeful for an expedient path to peace.”

The company noted that it did not have “offices or employees in Ukraine” and that it did not have “material business in Russia.”

“Through resellers and other channels we have a very small number of Russia-based customers, and we began exiting those relationships last week,” noted Salesforce.

President Joe Biden issued a series of sanctions against Russin on Feb. 24 following the invasion of Ukraine. The measures were designed to damage Russian business efforts in the United States. 

The steps included targeting five major Russian banks, including state-backed Sberbank and VTB, as well as members of the Russian elite and their families. Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, will no longer be able to transfer money with the assistance of U.S. banks,” reports the IBTimes.

The Biden administration also imposed sanctions that limited Russian access to a wide range of international exports including commercial electronics, computers,  and semiconductors.

Other businesses have already limited their commercial dealings with or in Russia. McDonald’s closed its locations across the nation last week. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are both boycotting Russia in support of Ukraine.

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