İrem UZUN -TDO- Apple has started displaying Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, as Russian territory in its Maps and Weather apps - but only for users within Russia. Russia and Ukraine have both been highly sensitive to the way global companies identify Crimea, since Russian troops seized the territory and Moscow annexed it after a referendum that Kiev and its Western allies say was illegal.

Reuters reporters inside Russia who typed the name of the provincial capital Simferopol into Apple’s Maps and Weather apps on Wednesday saw it displayed as “Simferopol, Crimea, Russia.” Reporters in other countries saw the city displayed simply as “Simferopol” without specifying which country it belongs to.

Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, reported on Wednesday that the head of the committee on security and anti-corruption, Vasily Piskaryov, had held a meeting with an Apple representative. "There is no going back," Mr.Piskaryov said. "Today, with Apple, the situation is closed - we have received everything we wanted." Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Vadym Prystaiko wrote on Twitter saying “Let me explain in your terms, Apple,” in English. “Imagine you’re crying out that your design and ideas, years of work and piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy, but then somebody ignorant doesn’t give a damn about your pain. That’s how it feels when you call Crimea a Russian land”.

The EU and United States do not recognize Crimea as Russian and have imposed sanctions against the peninsula and individuals they accuse of violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of sending its troops to the region and arming the separatists.Moscow denies this but says that Russian volunteers are helping the rebels. More than 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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