Intellias, one of Ukraine’s largest IT companies, has decided to close its development centre and office in Serbia and relocate it to Croatia because of the two countries’ very different positions on the war in Ukraine.
Explaining the move, Intellias wrote on its Facebook page of the “pro-Russian position of the Serbian government” and said that government responses to the events in Ukraine are “extremely important to us”.
Serbia’s government has spoken out against the Russian invasion and voted in favour of a UN resolution condemning the invasion and calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities and for Russian troops to withdraw. However, President Aleksandar Vucic previously announced on February 25 that Serbia will not be joining the western sanctions against Russia. The country also saw a thousands-strong march in support of Russia organised by far-right activists on March 4.
“As you probably know, we’ve been planning to launch a new development center in Novi Sad, Serbia recently. However, taking into consideration the pro-Russian position of the Serbian government, we made a decision to move our delivery center to Zagreb, #Croatia,” the statement on Intellias’ Facebook page read.
“The reaction of the international communities and governments to the recent events in #Ukraine is extremely important to us. Especially when it comes to the countries where our offices are located.”
“On top of that, Croatia is home to a strong IT community and well-developed infrastructure. More than 60,000 IT specialists work in the country. So, it’s our strong belief that together we will be able to provide our clients with quality technology solutions and services. #StandWithUkraine,” the statement added. “It is estimated that the domestic IT industry employs more than 60,000 professionals and about 5,700 companies.”
Immediately after the Russian invasion, Croatia called for sanctions against Russia. A few days later, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced that Croatia will send defence equipment and infantry weapons to Ukraine. Croatia also joined the ban on Russian planes entering its airspace.
“[T]his Balkan state has always expressed support for Ukraine, especially supported our country on the road to the EU, closed the skies with Russian planes, supported the Ukrainian army and continues to receive refugees from Ukraine," Intellias stressed.