Apple today confirmed that it has halted product sales in Russia following last week’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. The news comes days after the hardware giant pulled Sputnik and RT News from the App Store and disabled some Apple Pay services in the country. Today’s news also finds its disabling certain Apple Maps features, following a similar move by Google.
A spokesperson for the company offered TechCrunch the following statement:
We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for 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 paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside 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 evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace.
Last week, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov penned an open letter to CEO Tim Cook. “I appeal to you and I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe and, finally, the entire democratic world from bloody authoritarian aggression – to stop supplying Apple services and products to the Russian Federation, including blocking access to [the] App Store,” wrote Fedorov, who also serves as the country’s Minister of Digital Transformation.
Today’s news represents the biggest step from one of the world’s largest companies and finds Apple issuing a verbal rebuke of Russia’s actions in recent weeks, along side other tech leaders.