RALEIGH – Red Hat on Tuesday joined the growing list of companies – including its corporate parent IBM – in halting all business operations in Russia and its ally Belarus following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Raleigh-based tech giant also is stepping up efforts to help employees and associates in Ukraine.

Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s chief executive officer, told Red Hat employees the decisions the company has made via email and a blog early Tuesday.

“While relevant sanctions must guide many of our actions, we’ve taken additional measures as a company,” Cormier wrote. “Effective immediately, Red Hat is discontinuing sales and services in Russia and Belarus (for both organizations located in or headquartered in Russia or Belarus). This includes discontinuing partner relationships with organizations based in or headquartered in Russia or Belarus.”

IBM’s chair and CEO Arvind Krishan announced Big Blue’s suspension of business in Russia on Monday.

IBM suspends ‘all business’ in Russia, joins growing exodus of companies

The two firms join other tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple as well as Cary-based SAS which announced  the cutting off Russian business earlier.

“I’ve heard from many of you in response to last week’s announcement regarding the war in Ukraine, and I appreciate your feedback,” he said in a statement on Monday as reported by ANI news service. “First, let me be very clear — we have suspended all business in Russia. In addition, I want to give you an update on a few of the efforts underway to support our colleagues in the region.”

Last week, Krishna said IBM was making moves to support its workers in Ukraine.

“Remarkable” stories of support

In his blog, Cormier stressed the company’s efforts to help in Ukraine as well.

“As a company, we stand in unity with everyone affected by the violence and condemn the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

“The safety, security, and well-being of our associates remain our top priority. The cross-functional team we established several weeks ago has connected directly with every Red Hatter in Ukraine and Russia and will continue to ensure they have the support and resources they need.

“We have helped Red Hatters in Ukraine and their families (including spouses, children and family members) move safely to nearby countries and continue to help those who remain in the country in any way possible. In the last few days alone, Red Hat-organized buses have safely transported several dozen of our Ukrainian associates’ family members across the border to Poland. We are also supporting our associates in Russia. And for any Red Hatter that needs them, no matter where you are located, we have additional well-being resources available.”

Cromier also praised efforts by “Red Hatters worldwide” to assist.

“I’ve heard remarkable anecdotes about these actions, including an associate in Poland who drove several hours each direction to pick up a fellow associate’s wife and child at the Ukraine border and has opened his own home to them,” he wrote.

“This spirit of unity and caring for one another doesn’t surprise me — I’ve seen it at Red Hat many times over. It’s what makes Red Hatters so special and what makes me proud every day.”

SAS reaction

At SAS, a spokesperson noted that the Cary-based software company that has operations worldwide “continues to monitor the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine and the impact on our employees and our customers. SAS has suspended all business operations in Russia. ”

SAS confirmed it has “183 employees in Russia (as well as 200 contractors). They are all confirmed safe at this time.”

The firm has no employees in Ukraine, the spokesperson added.

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