Back in March, Google halted Android app and subscription purchases in Russia due to sanctions. Google Play is now “blocking the downloading of paid apps and updates to paid apps in Russia starting May 5, 2022.”

The company cites “compliance efforts” as being responsible for this latest policy. There are no changes to free applications as Google says in the Q&A of its support article on the matter:

Can I publish new apps or update existing apps during this pause?

You can still publish new free apps, and update existing free apps. Updates to paid apps are blocked for compliance reasons. 

On March 10, Google Play billing was paused in Russia due to sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. This impacted new app purchases, subscription payments, and in-app purchases (IAPs).

At the time, Google said that users can “still access apps and games that have already been downloaded or purchased.” That should be changing today, and we’ve reached out to the company for explicit confirmation.

Google has recommended developers defer payment renewals (which is possible for up to one year). Another given possibility for developers was making apps free or removing the paid subscription “during this pause.” That was advised for applications that provide a “critical service to users that keeps them safe and provides access to information.”


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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: