Apple has stopped all product sales in Russia and has pulled RT News and Sputnik News from app stores outside of Russia, the company confirmed.
The tech giant has also halted all exports to Russian sales channels, and disabled traffic and live incidents in the Apple Maps app in Ukraine as a safety measure.
The news was reported by TACC Russia, a state-owned news agency, which posted to Telegram: “Apple stopped selling its equipment in the official online store in Russia. All items in the column ‘Shipping’ indicated ‘currently unavailable”’.
In a statement, Apple said: “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”.
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“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.
“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.”
The company also confirmed Apple Pay and other services have been limited.
It comes after Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked Apple to stop selling products in Russia last week.
Fedorov, who also oversees digital operations in Ukraine, wrote an open letter to Apple chief executive Tim Cook, which was posted on Twitter.
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
“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 App Store,” Fedorov said in the letter.
Last week, Cook expressed concern about the “situation in Ukraine”, without naming Russia.
“I am thinking of the people who are right now in harm’s way and joining all those calling for peace,” the CEO tweeted.
For the last few years, Russia has had its own tailor-made version of the Apple Store, as well as an App Store specific to the country.
Apple confirmed the company is evaluating the situation and is in communication with “relevant governments on the actions we are taking”.
News of the boycott comes as Nike Inc halted all sales in Russia too, continuing that it “cannot guarantee delivery of goods to customers”, while Hollywood studios Disney, Warner Bros, and Sony Pictures Entertainment have all confirmed they will pause theatrical releases of upcoming films in Russia.