Apple suspends online sales in Russia

The Apple logo on a glass storefront in Ireland
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Apple on Tuesday confirmed it has ceased all sales through its Russian online store following a plea from Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Fedorov urged the company to stop device sales in Russia and block App Store access in the country.

“I appeal to you and I am sure 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 suppling Apple services and products to the Russian Federation, including blocking access to App Store!”

“We are sure that such actions will motivate youth and active population of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression.”

Any attempt to purchase Apple products online through the Russian store now results in a "delivery unavailable" message.

Apple has also blocked all exports to Russia and disabled live traffic and incident updates on Apple Maps in Ukraine in an effort to ensure the safety of Ukrainian citizens.

“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,” Tim Cook wrote in a letter.

“Apple is donating to humanitarian relief efforts and providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis. We are also working with partners to assess what more we can do. I know that many of you are eager to find ways to support as well, and we want to help amplify the impact of your donations.”

“Starting today, Apple will match your donations at a rate of 2:1 for eligible organizations, and we will make this retroactive for donations to those organizations since February 25. Please visit the Employee Giving Portal to learn more.”

Apple Pay has been limited in Russia and major banks have not been allowed to use the service. However, App Store access has not been eliminated in Russia as of yet.

Sputnik News and RT News have also been pulled from the App Store outside of Russia.

Apple's restrictions come in the wake of US sanctions imposed against Russia in February, which barred companies from exporting to the country.