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Apple pauses all product sales in Russia, stops exports and limits Apple Pay

RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia.
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Written by Jonathan Greig, Staff Writer on

Apple announced that it is pausing all product sales in Russia in light of the country's decision to invade Ukraine. 

An Apple spokesperson listed several actions the company is taking in relation to its business in Russia. 

"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," an Apple spokesperson told ZDNet.

"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 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."

Apple joins several other tech giants in taking drastic steps in response to the news around the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, first announced the news on Telegram, noting that Apple had stopped selling its technology in the official online store in Russia.

Early on Tuesday morning, Fedorov also noted that some Ukrainian music companies appealed directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask whether the company would allow Ukrainian music artists to change their album covers.

"In order to show the truth about the situation in Ukraine, we ask for permission to put this picture (or similar ones) instead of album covers of Ukrainian musicians and artists," the companies said, sharing a photo of a teal and yellow image with Ukrainian text. 

"In addition to this, we ask you to block Apple Music accounts of Russian artists who support the war and Putin's aggressive actions, such as Nikolai Baskov, Leonid Agutin, Prokhor Shalyapin and others. We want peace, clear skies and freedom. We don't want war."

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