MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian government has moved from using iPads to Samsung tablets. However, this move is not linked to any sanctions against US-based Apple Inc., the Minister of Communications Nikolai Nikiforov stated on Wednesday.
Earlier, members of the government used iPads at cabinet sessions and consultations, but now the ministers are using Samsung tablets.
“These are specially protected devices that can be used for processing confidential data. Part of the information at cabinet sessions is confidential, and these (Samsung) devices completely satisfy these requirements and have undergone the strictest certification,” Nikiforov said. He added that the change occurred not a long time ago. The move is of technical origin, Nikiforov specified.
The West imposed sanctions on some Russian individuals and organizations due to Moscow’s actions regarding the situation in Ukraine and Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin and other top officials were sarcastic about the restrictions. Russia has pledged to respond in kind, imposing tit-for-tat sanctions on Western officials.
The Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum on March 16, in which some 97% of its population decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Crimea subsequently signed a treaty on its reunification with Russia on March 18.
The developments came amid political turmoil in Ukraine, where a coup occurred in February following months of anti-government protests that often turned violent.
Despite Putin and other officials repeatedly stating that the Crimean referendum was in full conformity with the international law and the UN Charter, and also in line with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, Ukraine’s self-proclaimed new authorities and the West have cried foul over the plebiscite claiming it was illegal, and have refused to recognize Crimea part of Russia.