VK headquarters in Moscow: The group also wants to continue to offer iPhone apps
Photo: Artyom Geodakyan / ITAR-TASS / IMAGO
hen the British government imposed sanctions on Russian oligarchs, Apple has removed the apps of the Russian Internet company VK from its App Store.
A whole range of apps are apparently affected, including the popular Russian social media platform VKontakte and the email provider Mail.ru, which in turn bought Vkontakte in 2014.
VK had already gone public with the ban on Tuesday.
Accordingly, Apple has blocked the developer accounts of the Russian company.
VK emphasizes that apps already installed will continue to work for the foreseeable future, however, there may be issues with some features such as app payments.
Furthermore, the mobile browser versions of the portals are still available for Apple users.
VK will continue to offer iPhone apps.
Apple confirmed the block to the US portal »The Verge« on Wednesday and justified it with the British sanctions against Russian oligarchs, which also affect shareholders in VK.
Therefore, the developer accounts of the IT group have been deactivated, which means that the affected apps can no longer be installed worldwide.
However, Apple has no process to remove already installed apps from iPhones.
The apps are still available in Google's Play Store for Android smartphones.
Meanwhile, the Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor has accused Apple of interfering with the Russian people's freedom of information and has demanded an explanation as to why the apps were blocked.