The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation wants Apple to allow Russians to install iOS apps not only from the App Store. The department plans to submit the relevant bill to the State Duma during the spring session.

For the first time, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation submitted a bill at the end of 2022. At that time, it was assumed that it would be considered in the first quarter of 2023, but this did not happen. Now officials are finalizing the document on the proposals of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation.

According to Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, the Russian authorities have already reached a preliminary agreement with Apple.

"The activity of the Ministry of Finance is associated with the appearance of the iOS version of RuStore, which can afford the financial conditions dictated by Apple. According to my information, a preliminary agreement with the Americans has already been reached: this option gives them the opportunity to earn money and remain on the Russian market in the medium term," Gorelkin wrote in his Telegram channel.

However, Gorelkin fears that the bill could harm the Russian market.

"Another question is what it gives us. After all, the scenario in which the Russian altstore falls under the next package of sanctions is very likely. But the ability to fully launch web applications in case of RuStore blocking is unlikely to be returned to us. Does this threaten to cause much more trouble for Russian users of Apple technology? I hope the Ministry of Finance is aware of these risks and has provided appropriate protection mechanisms in the upcoming bill," the deputy said.

The idea of the Ministry of Finance is not new. Apple is obliged to fulfill a similar requirement in the European Union within the framework of the Digital Markets Act. In January 2024, the corporation announced that it would begin to support third-party app stores on iOS, and also allow developers to use alternative payment systems. But at the same time, she introduced a new fee: Apple decided to charge developers € 0.50 for each download in excess of the initial million installations per year.

A source: