Apple pauses all product sales in Russia over Ukraine invasion

Click to play video: 'The financial ripple effects of the war in Ukraine'
The financial ripple effects of the war in Ukraine
WATCH: The financial ripple effects of the war in Ukraine – Mar 1, 2022

Apple Inc AAPL.O said on Tuesday it has paused all product sales in Russia in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“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 announcing a pause in sales in Russia and other measures including limiting Apple Pay and dropping the ability to download RT News outside of Russia.

“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 said.

The company outlined a number of actions in response to the invasion, including stopping all exports into its sales channels in the country.

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Apple Pay and other services have been limited, the company said. The Russian state media, RT News and Sputnik News, are no longer available for download from the Apple Store outside Russia.

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: Canada will impose more measures on Russia in coming days'
Russia-Ukraine conflict: Canada will impose more measures on Russia in coming days

On Tuesday, users in Russia were still able to access Apple’s online store but attempts to buy an iPhone showed that they were not available for delivery.

Meanwhile, Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.OGoogle dropped Russian state publishers from its news, Ford Motor F.N told its Russian manufacturing partner it was suspending operations in the country, and Harley-Davidson Inc HOG.N suspended its business and shipments of its bikes.

Early in the day, the world’s biggest shipping lines, MSC and Maersk MAERSKb.CO, suspended container shipping to and from Russia, deepening the country’s isolation.

Heavy restrictions

The West has imposed heavy restrictions on Russia to close off its economy from the global financial system, pushing companies to halt sales, cut ties and dump tens of billions of dollars’ worth of investments.

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The steady drum beat of companies taking a stance increased later in the day as rockets struck major cities in Ukraine.

“Ford is deeply concerned about the invasion of Ukraine and the resultant threats to peace and stability. The situation has compelled us to reassess our operations in Russia,” Ford said, adding to several days of announcements by global car companies.

Nike Inc NKE.N has made merchandise purchases on its website and app unavailable in Russia as it cannot guarantee delivery of goods to customers in the country, an update on the sportswear maker’s website showed on Tuesday.

The MSC and Maersk moves mean that Russia – the world’s eleventh-largest economy and supplier of one-sixth of all commodities – is now effectively cut off from a large chunk of the globe’s shipping capacity.

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: Sanctions pummel Russian economy'
Russia-Ukraine conflict: Sanctions pummel Russian economy

To stem the stampede, Moscow said on Tuesday it would temporarily curb foreign investors from selling Russian assets but energy firms BP Plc BP.L and Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L have already decided to abandon their Russian businesses, while leading banks, airlines, automakers and more have cut shipments and ended partnerships.

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Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International RBIV.VI (RBI) is looking in to leaving Russia, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, a move that would make it the first European bank to do so since the invasion. Read full story

Mining and commodities group Glencore Plc GLEN.L said it is reviewing all business activities in Russia, including equity stakes in EN+ and Rosneft.

“The corporate world is building up a fortress to isolate Russia from the international community,” Hargreaves Lansdown senior investment and markets analyst Susannah Streeter said.

Energy companies have been leaders of the rejection of Russia, and on Tuesday French oil and gas group TotalEnergies TTEF.PA said it would no longer provide capital for new projects in Russia.

Paramount Pictures became the latest Hollywood studio to halt theatrical film distribution in Russia, announcing on Tuesday that it would pause the release of upcoming films “The Lost City” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles, Chris Sanders in Washington and by Reuters Moscow bureau, Editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis)

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