Apple has ordered resellers to cease all sales of Apple products and services in Crimea as of 1st February. This follows the termination of agreements with app developers in the region earlier this week. Apple states that both moves are to comply with sanctions on the Crimea region of the Ukraine imposed by the US Government. The company informed retailers of the decision by letter.
With reference made to Section 5G, «Export Compliance» of Apple Authorized Service Provider Agreement dated 01.04.14, please be informed that in accordance with the new sanctions on the Crimea Region announced by the US Government on December 19, 2014 you shall not sell Apple products and/or provide services related to Apple products in the Crimea Region as of February 1, 2015.
The US joined the EU in imposing economic sanctions in protest at Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, which legally remains part of the Ukraine. Google has likewise started to block AdSense and Adwords accounts in the region, and Google Play services will cease on 1st February.
TechCrunch notes that the political conflict could escalate, with the possibility that Russian government may retaliate by blocking the sale of US imports into Russia–an important market for many US companies, including Apple.
Apple recently responded to a dramatic fall in value of the Russian ruble by temporarily halting online sales before returning with a 35% increase in prices to reflect the current dollar exchange rate. It also increased the prices of apps in the Russian App Store.