Apple met with Ukraine's foreign minister at Davos and it looks like they discussed Apple's controversial decision to alter its maps to please Russia

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesApple CEO Timothy Cook returns from a break in his testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Investigations Subcommittee about the company’s offshore profit shifting and tax avoidance
  • Apple met with Ukraine’s foreign minister at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in what appears to be the first public meeting after Apple’s controversial decision to display Crimea as Russian territory on two of its most popular apps.
  • Ukraine’s foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko tweeted a picture of himself with Apple executive Lisa Jackson, and said some “outstanding issues” of a political nature were up for discussion.
  • In November 2019, Apple started to display Crimea as Russian territory on its Maps and Weather apps from inside Russia – a move slammed by Prystaiko and other critics.
  • Business Insider has approached Apple for comment and clarification about the way it plans to display Crimea on its Apple Maps and Weather apps when viewed from Russia.
  • Business Insider has also approached Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple executive Lisa Jackson met with Ukraine’s foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko at Davos, two months after Apple controversially altered two apps to display annexed Crimea as part of Russia.

Prystaiko tweeted a photo of himself alongside Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives.

His tweet said the pair discussed Apple’s “next steps” in the Ukrainian market, with a follow-up tweet hinting that the Crimea issue was also discussed.

He wrote: “[Ukraine has a] growing pool of loyal customers, creative IT class, improving business climate – all the ingredients for beneficial cooperation are in place.”

In a follow-up he added: “2/2 Protection of IPR, ‘grey market sales’ and some outstanding issues of a political nature are being resolved, too.”

This appears to be the first public meeting since Apple altered its apps.

In November 2019, Apple started to display Crimea as Russian territory on Apple Maps and its Weather app when the apps were viewed from Russia.

Crimea is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine but was annexed by Russia by 2014. The UN has declared the Moscow referendum which led to that annexation illegal. The US has also rejected Russia’s annexation of the region.

But Apple was in discussions with the Russian Duma for several months over how to display Crimea in its apps – with the Duma insisting Apple correct what it saw as an “inaccuracy.”

When Apple’s decision to show Crimea as part of Russia became apparent in November, Prystaiko condemned the company, comparing it to “[somebody] ignorant [that] doesn’t give a damn about your pain.”

At the time, Apple issued a statement explaining that it had altered its apps inside Russia thanks to a new law that “required us to update the map within Russia.” The company added that it was “taking a deeper look at how we handle disputed borders in our services and may make changes in the future as a result.”

It’s not yet clear if Apple has changed, or plans to change, the way it displays Crimea on its Apple Maps and Weather apps when viewed from Russia.

Business Insider has approached Apple and Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.

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