Apple halts product sales in Russia after Ukraine invasion – TechCrunch

Apple today confirmed that it has halted product sales in Russia following the invasion of neighboring Ukraine last week. The news comes days after the hardware giant removed Sputnik and RT News from the App Store and disabled some Apple Pay services in the country. Today’s news also finds its disabling of some Apple Maps features, following a similar move by Google.

A company spokesperson offered TechCrunch the following statement:

We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and support all people who are suffering because of the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid to the unfolding refugee crisis and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.

We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion. We have suspended all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports to our in-country sales channel. Apple Pay and other services have been restricted. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside of Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.

We will continue to assess the situation and are in communication with the governments concerned on the measures we are taking. We join with everyone around the world calling for peace.

Last week Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov write an open letter to CEO Tim Cook. “I am appealing to you and I am sure that you will not only hear, but also that you will do everything in your power to protect Ukraine, Europe and, finally, the whole democratic world from a bloody authoritarian aggression – to stop providing Apple services and products to the Russian Federation, including blocking access to [the] App Store,” wrote Fedorov, who is also the country’s Minister of Digital Transformation.

Today’s news represents the biggest step by one of the world’s biggest companies and finds Apple verbally reprimanding Russia’s actions in recent weeks, alongside other tech leaders.

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