Putin threatens companies like Apple that quit Russia

Putin threatens companies like Apple that quit Russia

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Putin threatens to nationalize assets left in Russia by companies like Apple
Any Apple computers left in Russia could become the property of the Russian government.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Russia is considering nationalizing the assets of companies like Apple that pulled out of the country in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, reportedly endorsed the plan on Thursday. The Mac-maker is just one of hundreds of companies that could be affected, but it’s a prominent one.

It’s not known how much inventory Apple left behind after it pulled out of Russia on March 1.

Apple’s remaining Russian inventory could be nationalized

Putin is firmly behind the move to nationalize departing businesses. He said Thursday that his country must “introduce external management and then transfer these enterprises to those who want to work,” according to The Washington Post.

If approved, the government would run the businesses for three months, then auction them off. It would not mean state control of Apple stores in Russia because there are none. But it would probably still take over any of Apple’s remaining local inventory.

The plan will be debated in the Russian parliament on Friday. But the Federal Assembly is generally a rubber stamp for Putin so is unlikely to go against something the President has so publicly endorsed.

How many Macs, iPhones, etc. are left in Russia?

If the plan goes through, any remaining Apple inventory in the country will likely become the property of the Russian government. But, as noted, it’s not clear how much of it there is.

When Apple announced its pullout on March 1, it also said, “Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country.” If that happened soon after the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, then the company may have sold off much of its inventory before it stopped sales.

The Mac-maker also said in a statement last week, “We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”