Google has announced that it will be giving engineers that live and work in Russia the option to relocate to other countries or leave Google employ. Google has about 50 engineers that are based mostly in Moscow within the country. Google isn’t planning to completely abandon Russia. While its engineers will be leaving, Google plans to keep sales and marketing teams in the country.
Google also isn’t planning to shut down services within Russia. In fact, Google plans to up its investment in Russia over the next year. The reason Google is thought to be pulling engineers out of Russia has to do with a new Russian law that requires data on Russian citizens to be stored on servers located in Russia. Google reportedly has no servers within Russia.
That law was originally set to go into effect in 2016, but has been moved up to go into effect on January 1, 2015. By not having servers in the country, Google would be breaking the law and services could be blocked. The thought is that Google is pulling its engineers out of Russia so it can keep Russian language services running.
Google says that engineers can do what they need to do from anywhere in the world. Sales and marketing teams on the other hand need to be in the country they support. Google hasn’t given an official reason for the pullout; it has stated that the move isn’t due any law adopted in Russia.