“It’s allowed to use iPhones for personal needs,” Shadaev said.
The ministry issued the ban two months after claims by the Russian main domestic security service, the FSB, that several thousands Apple devices were compromised as a result of an espionage operation by the US.
Apple denied the allegations. The US. National Security Agency, which the FSB said cooperated with Apple, declined to comment on the claims at the time.
Meanwhile, Apple was recently fined by a Russian court for not deleting “inaccurate” content about what Russia calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.
Apple, on the other hand, paused all product sales in Russia shortly after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, and limited its Apple Pay service in Russia.
Moscow has clashed with Big Tech for years over content, censorship, data and local representation in disputes that escalated after Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine.
Russia has also fined several other tech companies, including Alphabet’s Google, Meta’s Facebook and Wikimedia, which has been fined several times and has previously said information that Russian authorities complained about was well-sourced and in line with Wikipedia standards.
© Thomson Reuters 2023