Apple Inc. halted product sales in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, saying the company stands “with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence.”
The iPhone maker said Tuesday that it stopped exporting products into the country’s sales channel last week, ahead of pausing sales. It’s also removing the RT News and Sputnik News applications from App Stores outside of Russia and has disabled traffic and live-incident features in Ukraine as a “safety and precautionary measure” for citizens there.
The action followed a plea by Ukraine for Apple to stop selling products in Russia, with Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov saying the move could help turn Russian youth against the invasion. He also called on the company to shutter its local App Store. Apple has operated an online store specific to Russia for the last several years, as well as an App Store tailored to the country.
This isn’t the first time Apple has cut off a country. Apple stopped sales briefly in Turkey last year because of economic turmoil and currency fluctuation.
In Russia, the company also limited its Apple Pay service and other online offerings in recent days. Nike Inc., another iconic U.S. brand, has halted sales in Russia as well, saying Tuesday that it “cannot guarantee delivery of goods to customers.”
Apple shares dipped to session lows following news of the move in Russia, before recouping some of the losses. The stock closed down 1.2% to $163.20 on Tuesday.
“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Apple said in its 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 Cupertino, California-based company also said it will continue to evaluate the situation and that it is in communication with governments on the actions that it’s taking. “We join all those around the world who are calling for peace.”
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook expressed his concern last week 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,” he tweeted.
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