Apple has joined a slew of big companies that have suspended their operations in Russia, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Announcing it had “paused all product sales” in Russia, the company behind the iPhone expressed its “deep concern” about the invasion and stands with those “suffering as a result of the violence”.

Services such as Apple Pay and Apple Maps have also been limited. As a result, Russian mobile banking apps such as that of VTB Bank, one of the country’s largest banks, may soon not work on devices using Apple’s iOS operating system, according to news agency RIA.

In a statement, Apple said it had also disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a “safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens”.

Meanwhile, the Russian state-backed RT News and Sputnik News can no longer be downloaded from the App Store outside Russia. Google and Facebook have also taken similar steps to stop the spread of disinformation.

The move follows an appeal last week by Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who published an open letter to Apple on Twitter, in which he asked Apple to sever all ties with Russia.

Tech firms are by no means the only companies pulling out of Russia. On Tuesday, aerospace giant Boeing announced it had suspended parts and maintenance support for Russian airlines as well as its operations in Moscow.

The Russian economy is under increasing pressure following unprecedented severe sanctions by the West and its allies. The value of the rouble continues to sink – one rouble is currently worth 0.0085 euro – while some economists predict the country could find itself in a deep recession by summer.

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