MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. The steps taken by Russia’s communications watchdog (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) regarding Twitter are focused on enforcing compliance with Russia’s laws and not aimed deliberately against the social network, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
"This is a supervisory agency, it acts in strict accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation. This agency does not and cannot conduct activities against Twitter. These are actions that pursue compliance with Russia’s laws and seek to compel companies to obey Russia’s laws if they defiantly refuse to do so," Peskov emphasized.
The Kremlin spokesman added that the department informs the presidential administration of its actions, "but in this case Roskomnadzor is fulfilling its duties, and these are its functions."
"It is inconceivable that any company, no matter what its size, operating in the field of IT, in the field of social networks, would act in violation of Russia’s laws. And regarding large, mid-sized, and micro-companies, this fully requires the same actions to guide their activities back to the rule of law," the Kremlin spokesman specified.
On March 10, Russia’s media watchdog announced it was launching an "initial slowdown" against Twitter’s loading speed in Russia because the company had ignored repeated federal requests to remove nationally prohibited content. The federal regulator vowed to continue these measures against the tech giant even going as far as blocking it. Evgeny Zaytsev, who heads the federal agency’s Office of Control and Supervision in the Field of Electronic Communications, said earlier that the watchdog is ready for dialogue with Twitter, but the company has not responded to any inquiries or demands.
Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of the Russian telecommunications watchdog, told TASS that the federal agency would block Twitter in Russia in a month if the tech giant failed to delete the proscribed information.