Internet group VK reportedly launched a beta version of a home-grown app store, as Russia continues efforts to boost domestic digital services and rival western alternatives.
Dubbed RuStore, Reuters reported the platform is now available for download by Android users, citing a statement from Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media.
VK’s RuStore was developed with support from the Ministry, domestic technology company Yandex, cybersecurity player Kaspersky Lab and financial services company Sberbank.
Part-owned by Gazprom media, Reuters reported VK was leading the race to replace western services which have exited the market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Apple and Alphabet’s Google, the largest global app stores, limited Russian users’ access following the invasion.
In line with the domestic push, the Kremlin also limited access to Twitter, Google’s News platform and Meta Platform’s Instagram and Facebook. Politicians are also urging citizens to transfer to domestic providers.
At the launch of the RuStore beta, Russian minister of Communication and Media Maksut Shadaev reportedly noted developing a domestic app store was “essential” due to “market conditions”.
RuStore currently offers more than 100 applications with more being added daily.