Apple has begun cutting all ties with developers located in Crimea in response to sanctions imposed by US President Obama against the Russian-annexed area of Ukraine.
As first reported by TechCrunch, the iPad and iPhone maker has contacted a number of Crimea-based developers informing them they can no longer develop iOS applications. The notice of termination cites US President Obama's declaration of sanctions which stem from Russia annexing the region last year. Tensions between the US and Russia remain high, and now Obama has banned US firms from importing or selling goods or services originating from Crimea.
As a result, it would now be illegal for the tech giant to sell apps originating from Crimea -- and so it makes sense for the company to prevent any new software being developed.
In full, the note reads:
This letter serves as notice of termination of the Registered Apple Developer Agreement (the "RAD Agreement") between you and Apple, effective immediately.
Apple may terminate your status as a Registered Apple Developer at any time at its sole discretion under the RAD Agreement. The new sanctions on the Crimea Region announced by the US Government on December 19, 2014 and announced by the European Commission on December 18, 2014 prohibit the continuation of the RAD Agreement between you and Apple. For more information, please review Executive Order 13685 and the European Commission notice.
We would like to remind you of your obligations with regard to all software and other confidential information that you obtained from Apple as a Registered Apple Developer. You must promptly cease all use of and destroy such materials and comply with all the other termination obligations set forth in the RAD Agreement.
App developers in the region have since discovered their accounts have been restricted and access to the developer portal removed, with only a message saying:
"There may be a problem with your account. Please contact us."
Obama's sanctions cover a vast range of services and goods. US firms and individuals are not permitted to export or import goods, services or technology, and neither can they buy real estate in the region or finance Crimean businesses. In addition, any US business or individual found to be operating in Crimea will have their assets frozen.
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