The possible tightening of US sanctions could hit US IT companies working in Russia, they could lose billions of dollars, Russian Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov said Tuesday.

“We are against such sanctions manifestations. We see Europe suffering multibillion losses in euros from all these games. Now, the possible aggravation of sanctions stories by the US may potentially hit companies that earn hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars in our market,” Nikiforov told reporters.

He also said Russian software may completely replace Microsoft products, while Microsoft could lose billions of dollars due to restrictions on the purchase of its software by Russian companies on the US sanctions list.

Reuters Russia wrote Monday that two official Russian distributors of Microsoft products, Merlion and RRC, have imposed new restrictions on the sale of Microsoft software products to more than 200 firms in Russia after another round of Washington’s sanctions against Moscow.

“I believe that Russian software is capable of completely replacing [US software, in particular, Microsoft]… Such examples of politically motivated sanctions, I believe, first and foremost, are hitting the American economy. What will it end with? It will end with Microsoft losing almost entirely a market of several billion dollars in terms of corporate and government elements in our country,” Nikiforov said.