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HELSINKI: Nokia will pull out of the Russian market, the Finnish telecoms provider said on Tuesday, a day after rival Ericsson decided to suspend its activities in the country indefinitely.

Hundreds of mainly Western companies have announced the suspension of their activities or their departure from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February and the severe sanctions against Moscow.

Nokia, which stopped deliveries to the country in early March, “can now announce that we will exit the Russian market,” the mobile telecoms giant said in a statement.

The move will result in a provision of 100 million euros ($108.6 million) in Nokia’s first quarter accounts, published on April 28, the group said.

Russia accounted for less than two percent of Nokia’s 2021 net sales and the group said it was maintaining its financial forecasts for 2022 “considering the strong demand we see in other regions.”

On Monday, Swedish rival Ericsson announced an indefinite suspension of its operations in Russia and said it would put its 600 employees on paid leave.

The departure of the two Western heavyweights in the global 4G and 5G market clears the way for China’s Huawei in Russia.

Huawei has been shut out of new networks in the US and many European states as Western officials voice concerns its technology could be used as a Trojan horse for Chinese espionage – accusations the company rejects.

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