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Kremlin assures law on pre-installed Russian apps not aimed at isolating Russia

The presidential press secretary noted that the move isn’t something one would dub as ‘isolationist’ but rather it is ‘antitrust activity,’ which he pointed out is a common practice globally

SOCHI, December 3. /TASS/. The government’s move to enact the law on pre-installing Russian applications on smartphones, computers, and Smart TVs is for the benefit of Russian consumers and is associated with antitrust issues, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

He noted that this isn’t something we would dub as ‘isolationist’ but rather it is ‘antitrust activity,’ which he pointed out "is practiced widely throughout the world. So, it should be viewed precisely from this angle," Peskov emphasized.

He stressed that "Russia is not isolating itself" from the Internet. "It is impossible to block off the Internet, and we have no such goals or intentions. Russia remains absolutely open in this regard," the Kremlin official affirmed.

On December 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law stipulating the need of preinstalling applications focusing on the Russian audience on smartphones, computers and TV sets with the Smart-TV function. The document was posted on the official Internet portal of legal information on Monday.

According to the law, when selling individual kinds of technically sophisticated goods, consumers should be provided with an opportunity for using such goods with preinstalled Russian programs for computers. The Russian government will set the list of technically sophisticated goods and the procedure of preparing and keeping the list of Russian programs to be preinstalled on such goods, along with their pre-installation procedure.

A bill stipulating liability for the sale of technically sophisticated goods without the preinstalled Russian software has been recently submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament. The bill suggests fines for violations of prescribed requirements in the range from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles ($466.9 - $778.1) for officials and from 50,000 to 200,000 rubles ($778.1 - $3,112) for legal entities.