Ukraine's vice prime minister asks Tim Cook to stop doing business with Russia

From Mark Gurman and Daryna Krasnolutska's "Ukraine Urges Apple to Halt Russian Product Sales, App Store" posted late Friday by Bloomberg:

Mykhailo Fedorov, who serves as Ukraine’s vice prime minister and oversees digital operations, urged Apple Inc. to halt product sales in Russia and shut down its App Store in the country.

The government official made the request in a letter to Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook that he posted on Twitter. Fedorov also said Apple should support the U.S. sanctions placed on Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I appeal to you and I am sure that you will not only hear, but also do everything possible to protect Ukraine, Europe, and, finally, the entire democratic world from bloody authoritarian aggression -- to stop supplying Apple services and products to the Russian Federation, including blocking access to App Store,” Fedorov said in the letter...

In his letter, Fedorov argues that cutting off access to Apple products could motivate young people in Russia to oppose military aggression.

My take: I missed Tim Cook tweet two days ago expressing his "deep... concern"...

I am deeply concerned with the situation in Ukraine. We’re doing all we can for our teams there and will be supporting local humanitarian efforts. I am thinking of the people who are right now in harm’s way and joining all those calling for peace.


  1. Tommo_UK said:
    As usual the silence from Apple
    is deafening. Even Beethoven managed to compose masterpieces after losing his hearing. What happened to TC? He’s seemingly lost his geopolitical-locator-sensor as well as his hearing.

    Off to the Apple Store to get yet another product failed under warrant replaced thanks to documented shoddy components used.

    Disgruntled and increasingly annoyed with Apple Corporate which is turning into a top heavy leaning Tower of Pisa.

    February 26, 2022
    • Eric Lambeth said:
      Somebody shorted apple and is having a sad.

      February 26, 2022
  2. David Emery said:
    One argument against withdrawing would be the ability of iPhones to provide more access to outside information. I don’t think Russia has the same degree of nationalized internet control as the Great Firewall of China.

    But I suspect Apple is on the edge of the ‘electronics’ sanctions from the administration, and there’s nothing to prevent the administration from broadening their tech restrictions.

    February 26, 2022
  3. Tommo_UK said:
    Apple should just announce until the end of this conflict they are closing their office in Russia while continuing to offer after sales support for their devices. Simple as that.

    February 26, 2022
  4. Tommo_UK said:
    Putin just made one of the biggest strategic errors in European history. He thinks he’s Napoleon – another man of short stature with delusions of grandeur. France and Germany tried to conquer Russia, and failed dismally. It was the end of both regimes respectively.

    Equally, France and Germany and Russia have all tried to conquer and keep Europ, and failed (although the USSR managed to cling on for a few decades).

    Putin will fail here and lose support at home. Once he’s revealed to be a failure he will be disgraced and retire to his billionaire’s villa, where someone will hopefully slip polonium into his tea.

    There may be another revolution in Russia. His officials are not supportive of this but had to be frogmarched into showing their allegiance. Putin is on his last shout in my opinion. Ukraine defeating him, by simply failing to be conquered, will end up destroying his credibility at home. Even the Chinese get it and are keeping their distance from him.

    Interesting times. I give him 2-3 years max. Time to go shopping for Russian assets on fire sale.

    February 26, 2022
  5. Neal Guttenberg said:
    I don’t think Apple’s numbers in Russia are that large that it would materially impact Apple as a company or Russia’s access to technology. TC is in a tricky spot where he has to figure out how to deal with this in a way that is best for the world with damaging Apple as little as possible. I would also guess that Apple/TC is also taking cues from the US government.

    I know why Apple was called out by Zelensky. Apple is the biggest company in the world and it will bring more pressure on Russia. But it is really just symbolic and I would think that there are other companies that do business in Russia that are more vital to Russia’s overall economy and how they interact with the world that would have a more significant effect on Russia’s war effort.

    Just thinking off the top of my head, maybe calling for all phone manufacturers/tech companies to refuse to sell product in Russia would be a better strategy. If just Apple refuses to sell stuff, I am sure Samsung would be very happy to pick up the slack, even though South Korea could be in a similar position to the Ukraine if China decides on a similar strategy to Russia.

    February 26, 2022
  6. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Here we go again.

    When will it be that we rid the world of the narcissistic alpha-male power mindset? Ever?

    The amazing clear thing about this is how — by head count — the people that are in control to throw their weight around and create the combative dangers in this world are collectively tiny compared to the remaining population of this world who want to simply work, create, have family and enjoy their bounty.

    Pretty frickin’ simple.

    …and to those who declare it’s not as simple as that…YES, it IS as simple as that. Sad that the powerful few can’t realize the most simple of perpetual truths.

    February 26, 2022
  7. France seized a freighter full of new cars, supposedly financed by a now-sanctioned Russian bank. Theoretically, if a sanctioned Russian bank has financed a truck transporting Apple products the truck may be seized. These are the choppy waters shippers, buyers & sellers must now navigate.
    The West may approve more Iranian energy exports to counter Russia. It’s a mad, mad world.

    February 26, 2022

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