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Apple said to set up direct sales and a retail store in Russia

A report says that the tech giant just registered a company called Apple Rus, prompting renewed speculation that direct sales and a retail store could be coming to Russia soon.

Apple's retail store on the Upper West Side in New York City.
CNET/Marguerite Reardon

Russians are some of the world's biggest consumers of Apple goods. However, one of the main places they buy iPads, iPhones, and Macs is on eBay. That's because Apple doesn't directly sell its devices to Russia or have any retail stores there.

This may all change in the near future, however.

According to the Moscow News, Apple recently registered a company called Apple Rus and assigned it to the tech giant's local legal adviser -- Vitaly Morozko. Apparently, direct sales could begin as soon as 2013, yet it's still unclear when an Apple Store may open.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited Apple's campus as part of a tour of Silicon Valley in 2010, where he met with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The purpose of the trip was to boost high-tech businesses in Russia, as well as to invite U.S.-based companies to plant roots there.

Then, in 2011, Apple executives went to Russia, supposedly to scout locations for a possible store. There were rumors that Apple was contemplating opening a new location situated inside the reconstructed Hotel Moskva in the heart of Moscow. But nothing ever materialized from that visit.

However, if the Moscow News is correct, direct sales and a possible store in the Hotel Moskva may be happening after all.

CNET contacted Apple for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.