Apple halts Russian sales citing ‘volatile’ rouble

<p>Apple has suspended sales in Russia due to the volatility of the rouble.</p>

The falling price of the Russian rouble is continuing to cause problems across the country as Apple announces a suspension of sales in the country.

Apple confirmed that it would be stopping online sales of iPhones, iPads and other products in Russia as the rouble has become too volatile to set prices. It is the latest blow to the nation's economy as the value of its currency continues to plummet, set against falling oil prices and the potential for further Western sanctions to come.

Russia's central bank announced on Tuesday (December 16th) that it would be increasing interest rates from 10.5 per cent to 17 per cent to help combat the falling value of the rouble. This has done little to reverse the fortune of the currency which has dropped by over 20 per cent in the past week.

On Wednesday (December 17th), the value of the rouble hit an all-time low with one dollar being able to buy as many as 79 roubles (£0.73). This increased slightly in early morning trading reaching 71 roubles for one dollar. However, the downturn in fortunes in Russia has prompted concern among some of the biggest companies in the world.

Apple has closed its Russian website, the second time it has done so in the past two months, citing that constantly changing the value of the rouble has meant it has not been able to set competitive prices. Visitors to the tech giant's website were met with the message of "we'll be back" in several languages.

The company said in a statement: "Due to extreme fluctuations in the value of the rouble, our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing."

Russia has also been hit hard by falling oil prices which have dropped despite a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) deciding to keep out at its current level.

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