A report published by Buzzfeed that implied Cisco was skirting economic sanctions against Russia when selling its technical equipment there has gotten the attention of Sen. John McCain.
McCain (R-AZ) chairs the Senate’s Armed Services Committee and has pressed for more U.S. action against Russia in response to its involvement in the Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.
Buzzfeed’s report, based on documents and insight from an anonymous source said to have knowledge of Cisco’s Moscow operations, accused Cisco of changing sales records and booking deals under a false customer name after the sanctions began. In one case, Cisco allegedly sold equipment that wound up in the hands of the FSB, the successor to the KGB, but the records did not indicate FSB was the alleged buyer.
Although Cisco admitted that some names of customers were changed, it said those mistakes were innocent and has vehemently denied all charges that any of its sales violated sanctions.
McCain called the situation “disturbing” and said it “deserves further investigation,” Buzzfeed reported in a follow-up article.
Interestingly, outgoing Cisco CEO John Chambers, also a Republican, knows McCain well. Chambers was a top supporter of McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, donating over $US1.3 million.
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