Google pauses Play Store and YouTube payments in Russia

The tech giant said it's due to 'payment system disruption.'

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Users in Russia won't be able to buy apps and games or pay for subscriptions and in-app purchases at the moment. Google has suspended the Play store billing system as of March 10th due to "payment system disruption," most likely caused by sanctions imposed against the country's banks. The tech giant has announced the suspension in a support page, where it also said that Russian users can still download free apps and games.

Ongoing subscriptions won't be cut off right away, but they can't be renewed after they're done. Google advised developers in Russia to make their apps free and to switch off subscription services for now if they want to continue making them available for download.

According to Reuters, YouTube is also pausing all paid services for viewers in Russia, including YouTube Premium, Channel Memberships, Super Chat and merchandise sales. Creators in the country can still generate revenue from viewers outside the country, who'll still be able to send them Super Chats and buy their merch.

In addition, Google is pausing ads for all advertisers based in Russia across all its properties around the world, expanding the other ad-related bans it implemented since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. YouTube previously barred Russia Today (RT) and other state-owned media channels from being able to generate revenue. It also blocked access to them across Europe following the EU's orders to ban their broadcast. Google blocked Russian state media from being able to monetize their content across its products, as well, and eventually stopped selling ads in Russia.