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Microsoft suspends sales in Russia as Western sanctions tighten

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(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Friday it was suspending new sales of its products and services in Russia, becoming the latest Western company to distance itself from Moscow after the Ukraine invasion.

Several major companies, including Apple Inc, Nike and Dell Technologies, have severed connections with Russia as Western nations impose bold sanctions against Moscow following the attack.

Apple said on Tuesday it had paused all product sales in Russia. Dell made a similar move last week.

In addition to suspending new sales, Microsoft was stopping many aspects of its business in Russia in compliance with government sanctions, the company's president, Brad Smith, said.

Tech companies have also in recent days moved to restrict Russian state-controlled media including RT and Sputnik in response to requests from governments and calls to prevent the spread of Russian propaganda. Russia has called its actions in Ukraine a "special operation."

Earlier this week, Microsoft said it had removed RT's mobile apps from the Windows App Store and banned advertisements on Russian state sponsored media.

Facebook-owner Meta Platforms Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google and YouTube have also taken measures to restrict Russian state media from making money from ads on their platforms.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)