Obama-led sanction affected U.S. tech firms in Russia

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Sanctions imposed by former President Obama on Russia for hacking during the U.S. election had an unintended side effect: they essentially barred U.S. tech firms from selling new IT products in the country.

Part of last month’s sanction order was designed to block U.S. companies from doing business with Russia’s Federal Security Service, also known as the FSB, because of its suspected role in influencing last year’s election.

But the FSB isn’t just an intelligence agency. It’s also a crucial regulator in Russia that clears new IT products, including smartphones and tablets, for sale in the country.

Following the sanctions, tech firms flooded the U.S. Treasury Department with inquiries, according to a senior official with the agency.  

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