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Apple halts online sales in Russia

CUPERTINO, Calif. - Russia's financial crisis is spooking Apple (AAPL).

The technology giant has halted online sales of its iPhones, iPads and other products in Russia amid financial turmoil triggered by the steep decline in the country's currency.

The ruble plunged by as much as 20 percent Tuesday, even after Russia's central bank increased interest rates sharply in an attempt to shore up the currency. The ruble's value has fallen by more than 60 percent since January.

Russia takes drastic action to save its currency, the ruble

Its decline has coincided with a dramatic decrease in the price of oil, a pillar of Russia's economy. The price of crude has fallen more than 45 percent since this summer.

International economic sanctions over Russia's role in Ukraine have also the country's economy. The White House said Tuesday that President Barack Obama will sign legislation by the end of the week applying new sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Crimea.

Cupertino, California-based Apple said Tuesday that the ruble's instability has made it too difficult to set its prices in Russia, prompting the closure of its online store there.

Apple did not immediately return a call requesting comment.

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