Users in Russia will be unable to purchase apps and games, as well as pay for subscriptions and in-app purchases, for the time being. Google has suspended the Play store billing system as of March 10th due to a “payment system disruption.”
It appears that the decision is a result of sanctions imposed on the country’s banks. The suspension was announced on a support page, where it was also stated that Russian users could still download free apps and games.
Ongoing subscriptions will not be terminated immediately, but they cannot be renewed once they have expired. If developers in Russia want to continue making their apps available for download, Google advised them to make them free and turn off subscription services for the time being.
Reuters reports that YouTube is also suspending all paid services for Russian viewers, including YouTube Premium, Channel Memberships, Super Chat, and merchandise sales. Creators in the country can still earn money from viewers outside the country, who can still send them Super Chats and buy their merchandise.
Furthermore, Google has paused ads for all Russian advertisers across all of its properties worldwide, adding to the other ad-related bans it has imposed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Previously, YouTube barred Russia Today (RT) and other state-owned media channels from generating revenue.
It also restricted access to them across Europe in response to the EU’s decision to prohibit their broadcast. Google also barred Russian state media from monetizing their content across its products and eventually stopped selling ads in Russia.