The Battle.net accounts of gamers on the contested Crimean Peninsula have been suspended due to United States sanctions.

The suspension means Crimean gamers can no longer play Blizzard games that require a connection to Battle.net, including World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Hearthstone.

Blizzard notified Crimean gamers of the suspension via email.

"You are receiving this email because, in accordance with current trade regulations relating to the region of Crimea, we are legally required to suspend access to your Battle.net account," reads an email reposted by Russian website Geektimes.

"Any recurring subscription payment will be cancelled. We are sincerely sorry that you’re being impacted in this way; if the situation changes, we will happily do our best to restore access to your account."

The sovereignty of the Crimean Peninsula is currently disputed between the Ukraine and the Russian Federation. In March last year, Russia annexed Crimea. It is now the Peninsula's de facto controller.

In December, US President Barack Obama barred US companies from investing in Crimea or providing services there. The sanctions include the import and export of "goods, services or technology to or from” the region. The European Union has similar sanctions in place.

Other technology companies, including Google and Apple, have also suspended services in Crimea.