The Russian subsidiary of Google now intends to file for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account, making it impossible to pay staff and vendors, but free services including search and YouTube will keep functioning, as stated by a Google spokesperson on Wednesday. The Alphabet unit has been under stress in Russia for months for failing to delete content Moscow considers unlawful and for limiting access to some Russian media on YouTube.
The Russian Subsidiary of Google is Not Able to Function After the Seizure of Their Bank Account
“The Russian authorities’ seizure of Google Russia’s bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations,” a Google spokesperson said. “Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy.”
A TV channel owned by an authorized Russian businessman stated in April that bailiffs had seized 1 billion roubles ($15 million) from the Russian subsidiary of Google over its failure to restore access to its YouTube account, but this is the first time the tech giant has said its bank account as a whole has been seized. Russian subsidiary of Google did not immediately confirm whether it was the seizure of those funds that led to its intention to file for bankruptcy, or whether other seizures had occurred.
Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service Seized Google’s Assets and Property in Russia
The database of Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service documented two seizures since mid-March, without specifying the amounts, as well as other fines and enforcement fees. The service confirmed that it had seized the assets and property of the Russian subsidiary of Google. Google confirmed it had moved many of its workers out of Russia since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24.
A note posted on Russia’s official registry Fedresurs on Wednesday stated that the Russian subsidiary of Google was intending to declare bankruptcy and since March 22 had expected an “inability to fulfill its monetary obligations,” including severance pay, remuneration for current and former staff, and timely mandatory payments. Google, which has paused ad sales and most other commercial procedures in Russia, said its free services, including Gmail, Maps, Android, and Play, would remain available for Russian users.