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Apple halts product sales in Russia

Apple halts product sales in Russia

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It cites a deep concern about the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple has paused sales of its physical products in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, according to a statement from the company. This is Apple’s latest step after it imposed limitations for Apple Pay in Russia in accordance with sanctions, and it pulled some Russian news apps from the App Store outside of the country.

In its statement, which you can read in full below, Apple says that it “stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country” last week in response to the violence. The company says that it will “continue to evaluate the situation” and that it’s communicating with the governments of affected countries.

A Ukrainian official called on Tim Cook to cut Russia off last week

Last week, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov published an open letter to Apple, asking the company to cut Russia off from its products, services, and App Store. In the letter, he says that he is “sure that such actions will motivate youth and active population of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression.”

While Apple’s statement doesn’t mention any planned actions regarding the App Store, the company does say that it’s turned off traffic and live incident reports in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety measure. Google has also turned off Ukraine traffic data in Google Maps — before it was suspended, researchers were using it to track the Russian invasion and were able to get some insight into troop movements.

We were still able to access Apple’s Russian online store, but products like the iPhone and Mac are listed as currently unavailable and cannot be added to the shopping cart.

Here’s Apple’s full 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.”