Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs accused Apple of ignorance after news reports this week the tech giant labeled Crimea as part of Russia in local versions of its Maps app.
Apple’s move came after negotiations between the tech giant and the Russian government over the way Crimea is represented, reports said Wednesday.
Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, leading to international outrage and the country’s expulsion from the G8 summit.
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vadym Prystaiko, appeared to tweet from his verified Twitter account, “IPhones are great products,” “Seriously, though, Apple, please, please, stick to high-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side. #CrimeaIsUkraine”
Let me explain in your terms, @Apple. Imagine you're crying out that your design & ideas, years of work & piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy but then smb ignorant doesn't give a damn about your pain. That's how it feels when you call #Crimea a 🇷🇺 land.
— Vadym Prystaiko (@VPrystaiko) November 27, 2019
Spokespeople for Apple and Ukraine didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
This is not the first time Apple’s been criticized for mishandling international issues.
Earlier in October, Apple reportedly pulled a mapping app that crowdsources the location of police and protesters in Hong Kong from the App Store, saying it violated the store’s guidelines and local laws.
The move came after Apple was criticized by the Chinese state newspaper and accused of facilitating illegal behavior.
Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the move at the time, saying in a company email the decision to pull the app was “not easy.”
“This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law. Similarly, widespread abuse clearly violates our App Store guidelines barring personal harm,” Cook wrote.
On October 18, US lawmakers urged Apple to reinstate the app, saying Apple’s move was “deeply concerning.”