Apple announced Tuesday it would pause the sale of all products in Russia, citing the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“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,” Apple said in a statement. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”
The company said it has paused all product sales in Russia and limited other services, including Apple Pay, as well as disabled traffic and live incident reporting in Apple maps within Ukraine. Apple also said it has banned the RT News and Sputnik apps from its App Store outside of Russia.
“We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking,” the company said. “We join all those around the world who are calling for peace.”
The company’s decision follows pleas from Ukrainian officials, who urged the company to cut Russia off from its products Friday.
I’ve contacted @tim_cook, Apple’s CEO, to block the Apple Store for citizens of the Russian Federation, and to support the package of US government sanctions! If you agree to have the president-killer, then you will have to be satisfied with the only available site Russia 24. pic.twitter.com/b5dm78g2vS
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 25, 2022
Apple’s actions are the most significant step taken by U.S. tech companies so far to curb Russian access to products and services. Facebook parent company Meta announced restrictions on Russian state-controlled media including Russia Today and Sputnik, while Twitter has banned Russian state media from promoting ads.
Russia has responded to U.S. tech companies’ actions by restricting its own citizens’ access to certain platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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