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Russian authorities can consider blocking of Twitter as provisional measure, says senator

He stressed that such a measure would allow Russia to avoid allegations that it is interested in completely blocking the social network

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Chairman of the Federation Council Commission on Informational policy and interaction with the media Alexey Pushkov believes that the authorities can consider an option of completely blocking Twitter in Russia, but on a temporary basis.

The Federation Council is the upper chamber of the Russian parliament

"In conditions when Twitter does not respond to the requirements of Roskomnadzor (Russian media watchdog - TASS), in my opinion, it is necessary to set the time frame when the next step in relation to Twitter will be taken. Twitter has been given a month to realize possible consequences. If they do not draw conclusions and do not respond to the official appeal of Roskomnadzor, further measures will be taken and blocking is one of them. It may concern both a complete blocking and a partial one," Pushkov told TASS.

"My personal position as the head of the Commission on Informational policy is that we can block Twitter completely, but for a limited period - for a month. By doing so we give them a warning signal that this is not just idle talking, that this measure (blocking - TASS) will follow, and also give them a chance to improve the situation," the senator explained.

He stressed that such a measure would allow Russia to avoid allegations that it is interested in completely blocking the social network.

"Our task is to make Twitter comply with the requirements of the Russian regulator and the legislation of the Russian Federation. The task is not to block them, but to ensure that they act as they should on the territory of the Russian Federation," the senator said.

Pushkov noted that in case of blocking Twitter will lose its audience of 200-220 mln Internet users in Russia and the CIS countries.

Earlier on Tuesday, Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of the Russian media watchdog told TASS that his agency will block the Twitter social network in Russia in a month if the service does not delete the prohibited information. The official noted that, if the company fulfills all the requirements, the sanctions against it will be lifted.

On March 10, the federal agency took measures to initially decelerate Twitter’s loading speed nationwide due to the social network’s violation of Russia’s legislation.

The agency said that if the Twitter Internet service continues to ignore the legal requirements, these [enforcement] measures will continue in line with regulations (even going as far as imposing a block) until suicide incitement aimed at minors, child pornography, as well as information about the use of drugs are removed.