Online payment service PayPal has ceased operations in Crimea to comply with Western sanctions aimed at penalizing Russia for its annexation of the region from Ukraine last March.
"As a global payment provider, we make every effort to comply with laws and regulations around the world. … Unfortunately we are not able to provide our services to customers located in Crimea at this time," the PayPal press office told The Moscow Times late last week.
The United States in December barred U.S.-registered companies from investing in Crimea or providing services to companies there. International payment systems Visa and MasterCard pulled out of the Black Sea peninsula shortly after the decision.
Earlier this week U.S. tech giant Apple cut ties with retailers in the region to comply with sanctions, according to media reports.
PayPal, a service that lets users send money and purchase goods online without the use of credit cards, was co-founded in 1998 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk and acquired by online auction giant eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Today, it serves over 100 million users in 190 countries.
Russia's Central Bank finally granted the service a license to facilitate transactions between Russian merchants and consumers in May 2013.