It is a well-known fact that Apple is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Its products, such as iPhone, iMac, iPod, and others are famous for innovative technologies. The Cupertino-based company created many products that helped to make everyday life easier for millions of people. It is one of the biggest smartphone makers around the globe. Despite the price, people are willing to pay to get access to cutting-edge technologies. However, throughout history politics played an important role when it came to economic ties. Apple’s latest decision is just one of the examples of how politics shape the economy and vice versa.
Crimea is an autonomous republic that is part of Ukraine according to international laws. However, in 2014 Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Russian backed armed groups, along with regular troops seized Crimea’s parliament. In March of 2014, Russia conducted a referendum, which was illegal. Based on the so-called referendum Crimea and Sevastopol decided to join the Russian Federation.
It is important to mention Untied Nations does not recognize this decision. It means that despite Russian efforts to gain international recognition, Crimea remains part of Ukraine. This territory is occupied by Russian forces.
Russian Federation continues to provide support to the separatist in Eastern Ukraine. The conflict between the separatists and the Ukrainian military claimed the lives of many people.
The U.S., as well as other countries, imposed sanctions on Russia due to its role in the conflict as well as the occupation of Crimea.
Economy and Apple
On Wednesday, the parliament announced that Apple made the decision to correct its mistake. According to the information, from now on, Crimea, as well as the federal city of Sevastopol, are depicted as part of the Russian Federation. The member of the lower house of the Russian parliament said that Apple complied with the requirements of Russian legislation.
The Russian parliament forced Apple to change its decision as people who would open Apple maps would notice that Crimea was part of Ukraine. It took a lot of time to make this decision.
However, the controversy is not over, due to multiple reasons. Also, it is worth mentioning that Crimea and Sevastopol are shown as part of Russia only for Russian users. It means that if a person opens Apple maps outside of the Russian Federation, he or she won’t notice anything.
Apple is not alone when it comes to complying with Russian legislation. For example, another U.S. company Google changed the map to please Russian authorities. Google maps are also using the same principle as Apple maps. It means that for Russian users they have different maps and for Ukrainian users, they depict Crimea as part of Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities sharply criticized Apple’s decision. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko commented on this issue. Prystaiko used his twitter account to explain why Apple made the wrong decision.
Apple found itself in a difficult position. On the one hand, they do not want to lose the Russian market. Russia is home to more than 146 million people. On the other hand, they do not want to break international laws.