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No more iPhones: Apple stops product sales in Russia and removes RT and Sputnik from App Store

A message saying the Apple Store was "currently closed" greeted Euronews Next's attempts to buy an iPhone from Apple's Russian online store
A message saying the Apple Store was "currently closed" greeted Euronews Next's attempts to buy an iPhone from Apple's Russian online store   -   Copyright  Screenshot via Apple Store   -  
By Tom Bateman  with Reuters

Apple has paused all sales of its physical products in Russia, the company announced on Tuesday.

"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," Apple said in a 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."

Apple's move means that people in Russia will no longer be able to purchase items like iPhones or Macbooks direct from the company. When Euronews Next attempted to buy an iPhone on Apple's online store for Russia, the site displayed a message reading "The Apple store is currently closed".

The halting of physical sales in Russia follows an earlier move by Apple to stop exporting its products to Russia last week. Apple had already restricted access to digital services including Apple Pay within Russia.

"RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia," the company said, adding that it had disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.

Reacting to Apple's announcement, Ukraine's vice prime minister and digital transformation minister Myhailo Fedorov called on the company to go further, saying "No more Apple product sales in Russia! Now @tim_cook let's finish the job and block App Store access in Russia. They kill our children, now kill their access!"

Fedorov had previously written to Apple CEO Tim Cook, requesting he "stop supplying Apple services and products," including the App Store, to Russian consumers.