Apple has reinstated the apps made by the Russian technology group VK on the App Store after the company provided proof that it’s not “majority owned or controlled by a sanctioned entity” (via The Guardian). The company removed the VK-owned social network VKontakte, email app Mail.ru, and others last month in response to sanctions the UK put on the financial institutions that own the Russian firm.
“The apps from this developer were removed from the App Store, as required by law, after multiple requests were made to the developer to provide documentation to verify that they were not in violation of UK sanctions,” Apple spokesperson Peter Ajemian said in an emailed statement to The Verge. “Subsequent to the removal, the developer has provided the requisite information verifying that they are not majority owned or controlled by a sanctioned entity. Thus, the apps have been reinstated to the App Store.”
VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, is one of the most popular social networks in the country. Last year, Russia started requiring Apple to ship its iPhones with a list of Russian-made apps that users can install as part of the setup process, including VKontakte and Mail.ru. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Apple stopped selling its products in the country, and users became barred from using Apple Pay due to the sanctions put on several Russian banks.
Update, October 18th, 6:34PM ET: Updated to add a statement from Apple.