Google Play in Russia cannot download, update paid apps

In March, Google halted purchases of Android apps and subscriptions in Russia due to sanctions. Google Play “now blocks the download of paid apps and paid app updates in Russia from May 5, 2022”.

The company cites “compliance efforts” as responsible for the latter policy. There is no change for free apps as Google says in their Q&A in their support article on this:

Can I release new apps or update existing apps during this break?

You can always publish new free apps and update existing free apps. Paid app updates are blocked for compliance reasons.

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

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

Google has recommended developers to defer payment renewals (which is possible for up to a year). Another option for developers was to make apps free or remove the paid subscription “during this break”. This was advised for applications that provide a “critical service to users that protects them and gives them access to information”.


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