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Russian minister slams blocking of Kadyrov’s accounts as example of double standards

December 26, 2017, 19:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The minister declined to assess the situation from the legal standpoint

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MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. The blocking of the Facebook and Instagram accounts of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Chechnya, is an example of double standards, Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov told reporters following a cabinet meeting.

On December 23, Facebook and Instagram blocked the access to Kadyrov’s accounts. On the same day, the head of Chechnya announced that a new social network, named Mylistory, was being tested in the region, which "is just as good" as foreign social networks. Facebook and Instagram have so far offered no comments on the situation.

"This is a striking example of the double standards that we have been talking about for years… It means that the Internet is not free of politics, it is no more than relations between economic entities, including those subject to politically motivated sanctions," Nikoforov said.

According to him, it is yet hard to understand what were the reasons behind the accounts blocking. "They seem to have stopped providing services to one particular client who was put on the blacklist. This might be the reason. But it is only my guess," he added.

The minister declined to assess the situation from a legal standpoint. "It is up to the Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office to decide if it is a violation of law or not. I would like to refrain from interfering," he said.

The press service of Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor earlier told TASS that it had requested Facebook to clarify reasons for blocking Kadyrov’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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