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Kremlin says no decision on limiting messengers use for Russian officials

May 30, 13:31 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Peskov comments on the Economic Development Ministry's proposal to ban officials from using applications of foreign developers for working contacts
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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday no decisions on limiting the use of messenger services for Russian officials have been taken besides the existing regulations concerning the transfer of service and secret information.

Responding to a question if officials in Russia could be banned from using Telegram and other foreign messengers, Peskov told reporters: "No decisions in this direction have been taken so far."

He stressed that using messengers for work-related purposes, including transferring service or classified information, would be probably "absolutely incautious."

"Whatever the services are - domestic or others - none of these services envisage protection," Peskov sais/ 

Peskov stressed that there are instructions based on Russia’s law on state secrets. "In line with this law there is a rather strict regulation of work with classified information," he said.

The Kremlin spokesman noted that he uses Telegram for communicating with journalists. "Therefore, one service differs from another service. In this case, it is important to comply with the current legislation that strictly regulates the work and access to data that is a state secret."

Peskov stressed that "he knows nothing if a domestic messenger exists." Speaking about Telegram, he said that its founder is Russian national Pavel Durov and "of course, this is a product developed by our compatriot."

Earlier on Monday, Kommersant business daily reported that Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has proposed to ban officials and military from using applications of foreign developers for working contacts.

The corresponding proposal was already sent to the Russian president, the newspaper wrote.

"For working purposes, it is planned to use only Russian messengers. This position was coordinated with the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Institute of Development of Internet," a representative of the Economic Development Ministry Elena Lashkina told the paper.

Restrictions may cover Google’s e-mail service Gmail and popular messengers such as WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Telegram.

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