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No iPhone for you: Apple stops online sales in Russia over currency issues

Posted at 4:46 PM, Dec 16, 2014

Apple shut down its Russian online store Tuesday, citing issues with the country's crumbling currency.

"Due to extreme fluctuations in the value of the ruble, our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing. We apologize to customers for any inconvenience," Apple said in a statement.

The Russian ruble fell again after Russia's central bank hiked interest rates to 17 percent from 10.5 percent on Monday. CNBC reports the currency declined more than 50 percent this year.

Because Russia's currency is weakening so quickly, Apple had to increase the price of its Russian iPhone by 25 percent in November, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Russia is on the losing end of cheap oil prices, which are its most crucial export. The price of a barrel of oil declined 50 percent since June. The country is also under pressure from sanctions after its military action in Ukraine this year.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern.