Google, Apple, Airbus and others join Russian exodus over Ukraine conflict

Image credit: reuters

A raft of major tech and engineering brands have announced they are pulling support from their Russian operations following EU sanctions.

Google has stopped Russian state publishers like RT from appearing on its news platform and has blocked their associated apps from its Play Store. Twitter has also made similar moves to stop the news sites from appearing on its feeds.

Apple has ended the sale of iPhones and other products to Russian consumers while also making moves similar to Google on its App Store. It has also stopped live traffic updates on Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety measure, similar to actions Google has already taken.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence,” Apple said in a statement.

Telecoms firm Nokia has joined rival Ericsson in saying it will stop deliveries to Russia to comply with sanctions.

Meanwhile, Airbus has stopped sending spare parts to Russia and supporting Russian airlines, although it is still analysing whether its Moscow engineering centre could keep providing services to local customers under the sanctions.

The Airbus Engineering Centre in Russia was set up in 2003 under a joint-venture between Airbus, Systema Invest and the Kaskol group and employs 200 Russian engineers, the company’s website says.

Boeing has suspended parts, maintenance and technical support services for Russian airlines and halted major operations in Moscow. It will also temporarily close its office in Kyiv.

Ford said it was “reassessing” its operations in Russia, adding to several days of announcements by global car companies to similar effect.

Ukrainian airspace was closed last week following Russia’s invasion although Ryanair has said it plans to be the first airline to return to the country once it is “safe to do so”. It added that this may not be until winter however.

Speaking at a press conference in the City of London, chief executive Michael O’Leary O’Leary said: “We do want to see the Ukrainians succeed.”

He added that the best way to punish Russia would be for the West to “drive down the price of oil”.

“We’ve cancelled all Ukrainian routes until the end of March. We do not believe it will be possible to fly to Ukraine for the foreseeable future.”

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