Apple removed Russia’s largest social network app VKontakte from the AppStore, citing conflicts with British sanctions. On Google Play it is still available.
In addition to the main application VKontakte other services of VK disappeared from the AppStore: Mail.ru Mail, Mail.ru Cloud, VK Music, VK Clips.
The Ministry of Digital Affairs asked Apple to explain the reasons for the removal of the apps, the ministry's press service told Interfax news agency. The statement from the ministry indicated that not only the apps were deleted, but also the accounts of their developers.
VK confirmed the removal of the apps. They added that users who already have the group's services installed continue to work as usual.
The reason for removing VK services from the AppStore is that the applications are distributed by developers, “majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government,” writes The Verge, citing an Apple spokesperson. The company has blocked the accounts of app developers, and now they cannot be downloaded anywhere, regardless of location. Already downloaded services can continue to be used.
Russia's internet regulator, Roskomnadzor also demanded Apple to explain the reasons for removing a number of popular applications of Russian companies such as Domklik, Yula, 2GIS, Sberbank, Alfa Bank, VTB, Promsvyazbank, Sovcombank, Otkrytie, Novikombank, Aeroflot and Utair from the App Store.