Intel threatened to pull its R&D operations from Russia and relocate to India or China last year, after problems persuading the authorities to allow the importing of software development platforms containing strong encryption.
The revelation comes in another US Department of State cable published by WikiLeaks, and highlights the problems experienced by many western technology companies operating in Russia.
The country signed a World Trade Organisation bilateral Working Party Agreement four years ago, but has still not streamlined its procedures for the importation of items containing cryptographic information, which are vital for software engineers in keeping intellectual property safe.
After some intense and high-level lobbying, Intel managed to secure a waiver allowing 1,000 encrypted platforms to be imported into Russia, "bypassing the cumbersome licensing process", according to the cable.
"Intel's advocates emphasised that if Intel could not quickly import these development kits, there would be no programming work available and Intel would have to lay off over 200 engineers," the cable noted. "In addition, R&D work in Russia would have to move to India or China."
The "cumbersome" six-month process for permission to import encrypted products into Russia involves submitting samples for analysis to a laboratory, according to the cable, "raising concerns about the violation of intellectual property through reverse engineering".
The problem of western company employees using encrypted products in other regions came to a head in recent months with the stand-off between BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and various governments, including those of India and Saudi Arabia.
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