Google and PayPal join Crimea sanctions efforts

In the latest move by a U.S. tech firm to abide by sanctions on Crimea, Google will stop Android users on the peninsula from downloading apps from Google Play, according to Russian reports.

The freeze will reportedly commence at the start of February. Google will also stop Crimean residents from using AdWords or AdSense due to the export sanctions, but will still allow the use of Google’s free services.

EBay’s PayPal also said on Friday that it has stopped servicing residents of the Ukrainian peninsula, which was annexed by Russia last year, due to the sanctions levied by the U.S. and the European Union in December. Crimeans also can’t buy games from Steam due to Valve’s compliance with the sanctions.

Apple cut ties with Crimean app developers earlier this week, removing their products from the App Store and blocking their internal accounts. Google has not as yet officially said that Crimean developers can no longer put apps into the Play Store, but it’s hard to see how this could be allowed as the sanctions should nullify developer contracts and bar payments.