Apple Suspends Sales in Russia

Apple, Russia, Ukraine, sales

Apple won’t be selling its products in Russia, with the tech giant now following several other brands in boycotting the country over its invasion of Ukraine, according to a Financial Times report Tuesday (March 1).

The company said it would be pausing product sales within Russia and would be blocking app store access to state media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik from outside of the country.

Other brands that have done so include carmaker Ford, athletic outfitter Nike and others, with Walt Disney and Warner Bros also delaying some film releases. The idea is to put more pressure on the Kremlin because of the invasion.

According to the FT, these developments show how Western companies have shifted focus away from operational concerns around the invasion, including how to keep Ukraine-based staff safe and how to pay staff in Russia. Now, they are also looking into the reputational risks of continuing to do business there.

Some of the brands that symbolized Russia’s opening to the west after the Cold War, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Levi Strauss, had not made any moves yet as of Tuesday. Several companies like Estée Lauder, Kimberly-Clark and Mondelez — which had touted Russia sales as a growing market — also had to reassess things.

However, Johann Strobl, the CEO of Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank, has a different opinion and doesn’t have plans to exit the country. That said, the bank won’t be going ahead with a planned dividend.

Read more: Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank Suspends Dividend, Refuses to Leave Russia

Raiffeisen was one of several banks to have a big direct exposure to Russia. As such, the bank has seen its market price cut in half in the last week or so because of the conflict.

Reports have found that Western allies have added numerous Russian banks to sanction lists over the weekend, including VTB Bank, the country’s second-biggest lender.