Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm stated on a conference call the company’s 400 employees in Russia have been notified they will be laid-off as part of its plan to shut down operations there.

“We have explained the orderly wind down process to them and they’re now leaving our organisation in a phased approach by the end of 2022,” he noted.

Ekholm used a joint presentation with Vonage executives to refute a “misleading” report by Swedish media that it continued to export equipment to Russia after a war with Ukraine began.

Ericsson announced the indefinite suspension of business operations in Russia in April, but Ekholm noted it was a “highly complex matter because telecommunication networks represent critical infrastructure”.

Swedish and European Union authorities have granted limited exemptions for Ericsson and other companies to deliver technical assistance and software needed to maintain civilian telecommunication networks.

Ericsson’s CEO stated the exemptions would cease by the end of the year and are “consistent with our humanitarian obligations”.

“Western governments are clear on the importance of maintaining internet access and the flow of information for the people of Russia.”

“As a consequence, we’ve been providing the necessary support for maintaining civilian networks in compliance with current sanctions.”