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Google violations may prompt Russia to toughen responsibility for them — lawmaker

An interim commission of the Federation Council invited official representatives of Google and Apple to its meeting on September 16

MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. The Russian authorities may toughen the legislation in response to violations of the national laws by foreign IT giants, in particular by Google, head of the State Duma commission Vasily Piskarev said on Wednesday. The State Duma is the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Earlier it became known that an interim commission of the Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian parliament) invited official representatives of Google and Apple to its meeting on September 16.

"We welcome the initiative of senators to invite Google to dialogue," he said.

Piskarev added that Google still ignores the instructions of the Russian media watchdog.

"The company's management shyly evades answering the claims brought against them and is ready to endure multimillion-dollar fines, showing that the mighty United States us behind them," Piskarev said.

"In response there can be tough amendments to the legislation on the liability of both violating companies and managers responsible for their work in Russia. We see this as one of the priority tasks of the 8th State Duma," the head of the commission stressed.

The lawmaker recalled that in April the Duma commission held a teleconference with representatives of the Google leadership. At that meeting the commission presented "numerous examples of violations of Russian law, including interference in elections, calls for minors to participate in unauthorized rallies, drug propaganda in browser search results, political censorship, and much more."

The lawmakers noted that "the lack of a full-fledged and competent Google representation in Russia makes it difficult for the company to communicate with the state authorities." They also complained about the "unacceptable slowness" the company's employees were eliminating violations.

The meeting resulted in an agreement to eliminate the existing violations within six months, Piskarev recalled.

"The appointed date is approaching, but we see them [Google] going on with the same policy," the lawmaker noted.