MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Moscow is reluctant to resort to extreme measures in regard to violators of Russian laws, namely in regard to blocking access to foreign IT services, but such measures are still on the table if the country’s legal demands continue being ignored, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"We will continue insisting that our joint work with global network platforms will be in line with the Russian laws," he said during his traditional end-of-the-year news conference in Moscow.
"As you may all well know, other countries resort to measures of the traffic slowdown and other measures as well, including the factual blocking of the network," Putin said.
"We would rather avoid resorting to such extreme measures. But if we are forced into it, we will be forced to up our demands in regard to everyone, who works with such issues and ignores interests of the Russian society," the Russian president added.
According to an annual report of the provisional commission of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian Parliament), released on December 15, on the protection of state sovereignty and prevention of meddling into Russia’s domestic affairs, not many foreign IT companies started taking specific steps on complying with the law obliging them to open subsidiaries or representative offices in Russia, and starting January 1 they would bear the responsibility for the possible consequences of the failure to observe Russian legislation.
Earlier, Russian President Putin signed the bill into law obliging the owners of foreign Internet resources with a daily audience of over 500,000 Russians to open subsidiaries and offices in the country starting January 1, 2022.
It also introduced a set of measures obliging IT companies to observe Russian legislation, including the possibility to partially or fully block a platform for violating the law as an emergency measure.
In late November Russia’s mass media watchdog put 13 companies on the register of companies to observe the localization law, including Google (Google Play, YouTube, YouTube Music, Google Chat, Gmail), Apple (iCloud, App Store, Apple Music), Meta Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), Twitter, TikTok, Telegram, as well as Zoom, Viber, Spotify, Likeme Pte.Ltd. (Likee), Discord, Pinterest and Twitch.