Nominet has unilaterally decided to suspend all its Russian registrars.
As far as I can tell there’s no legal obligation on Nominet to take action against registrars based in Russia, but they’ve decided to suspend them.
However they’re also claiming that they don’t want to impact existing registrations.
With the Russian registrars suspended there’s no way for them to manage their domain names or renew them. I also assume that the registrars won’t be able to “release” domain names to other registrars who are based outside Russia.
The news came in an email from Nominet’s new CEO to members this morning, as well as a blog post on their site, where the registry talked about its support for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Unfortunately, times of great upheaval also present opportunities for fraud. With that in mind, we are checking new registrations via domain watch to tackle phishing scams related to the Ukrainian aid effort. We are not accepting registrations from registrars in Russia – we are suspending the relevant tags. To avoid compromising outlets for expression outside the control of the regime, the very small number of domains with Russian address details will continue to operate as normal. The security of our systems remains a priority, and the response to the heightened threat to our infrastructure includes increased monitoring for signs of compromise and expedited action on any vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain.
While many registrars have chosen to take action with regard to existing or potential future Russian clients this is the first instance I’m aware of where a ccTLD registry has decided to block existing registrars.