The Crimean crisis of 2014, instigated between Russian and Ukraine over control of the Crimean peninsula is now feeling tremors in the tech world. Following the U.S edicts over the situation, tech companies are reprising the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Various reports out of Russia suggest that Google will block B2B products like AdSense and AdWords accounts in the region. Also, effective from February 1, Google Play services will terminate, though services like Google Search, Google+, Gmail and Maps and other web based services will still be accessible
However, that means all services involving payment to or from Google will cease. The mandates from U.S joined forces with the European Union, which they made public on December 19, 2014.
Since the orders from the White House forbid any investments and product/service development in the region, Apple.Inc has already implemented their own implementation of the sanctions, along with Paypal. Valve Corp, a video game development and digital distribution company (the Cstrike guys) has suspended Steam services there.
A Google source told Russian website lenta.ru,
Google cannot make payments to anyone in the Crimea. It is now technically impossible, as almost all international banks have ceased to make payments.
Apps, via Google Play will be blocked too,w.e.f Feb 1, since import/export of products and services is prohibited, and loading applications can be considered as exports.
These efforts are a move to pressurize Russia into reconsidering its Crimea position, although there is a distinct possibility of serious conflicts within Russia itself. And we all know what happens when world super powers butt heads.
Of course, people who have absolutely no hand in the whole series of events are the ones who are suffering the most- the people of Crimea, who have wasted no time setting up an new inward investment programme to attract tech startups to the region. The show must go on, as they say.
IMAGE : FLICKR / CC 2.0 / Mal Booth