Russia said on Thursday that Google and Apple’s refusal to remove jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s app ahead of elections could be seen as interference in the country’s domestic affairs.
The country is holding parliamentary elections later this month, with nearly all vocal Kremlin critics including Navalny’s allies barred from running.

Last month Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor demanded that Google and Apple remove Navalny’s app from their stores.

On Thursday, Roskomnadzor ramped up pressure on the Western tech giants by saying they could be held criminally liable if they continue to refuse to comply with Russian law.

“Criminal liability is foreseen for organising as well as taking part in the work of extremist organisations banned in Russia,” the media watchdog said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

Failure to block the app “can be considered interference” in Russian elections and will lead to hefty fines, the watchdog added.

Roskomnadzor did not immediately provide a comment when contacted by AFP.

Earlier this year, opposition leader Navalny saw his organisations declared “extremist” and banned in the country, while all of his top aides have fled.

The media regulator then barred dozens of websites linked to Navalny including his main website navalny.com.

In a message from prison, Navalny has urged supporters to download an app that aims to help Russians to vote out candidates from the ruling United Russia party in the upcoming polls.

The “Smart Voting” tactic has seen the increasingly unpopular United Russia party lose a number of seats in recent local elections.

“If something can be called ‘interference in Russian elections’, it is the attempts of Roskomnadzor to block the Smart Voting app,” Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. “Download them asap.”

2 thoughts on “Russia accuses Google and Apple of interfering in elections

  1. Мойка самообслуживания под ключ – это модернизированный и клиентоориентированный подход к организации моечного сервиса, где каждый может быстро и эффективно очистить свое авто.

  2. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic site!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *