Apple closes its online retail store in Russia

Apple said that it has taken down its online retail store and is reviewing prices amid extreme fluctuations in the value of Russia's currency, the rouble. It is not known when the store will return.

Last month, Apple increased prices in its online store in Russia by 20% after rouble's free-fall made products cheaper than in the rest of Europe.

Russia's central bank has spent $80 billion and raised interest rates dramatically from 10.5% to 17%, however, it has so far failed to stop the free-fall which has halved the value of the rouble against the US dollar since January. The central bank has pledged further measures to try to stabilize the currency, with First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov describing the situation as "critical".

The currency's free-fall has been blamed on Western sanctions on Russia over its stance on Ukraine and the price of oil which has also halved in price this year.

The rouble lost more than 20% of its value this week over fears that the US was considering more sanctions against Russia for its ongoing support for separatists in Ukraine.

Source: Reuters and BBC News | Russia flag Image: ewallpapers.eu

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