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Twitter Lifts Ban On Russian Accounts, Lawmakers Ask Kremlin To Unblock Site In Country

Twitter placed a ban on Kremlin-affiliated accounts in late February 2022 after Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia Ukraine Crisis
| Written By
Digital Desk

IMAGE: AP/Twitter

After Twitter CEO Elon Musk removed restrictions on the Russian accounts affiliated with the country’s government, lawmakers proposed to Kremlin on Monday to remove the block on the microblogging site. Several high-ranking Russian officials are pushing for the site to be unblocked after the social media giant removed restrictions on the accounts in Russia that were previously banned. Twitter also lifted its limits on searches for accounts of top Russian lawmakers including President Vladimir Putin, the Foreign Ministry of Russia, and the Russian Embassy in London among others.

Elon Musk’s policy a 'miracle': Russia's deputy of State Duma Committee on information policy

Twitter placed a ban on Kremlin-affiliated accounts in late February of last year after Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As the social media firm reversed its decision and lifted the ban, Anton Gorelkin, the deputy of the State Duma Committee on information policy hailed Musk’s policy as a “miracle" on Telegram. He reminded that Musk has adhered to the free speech promise as the public is now free to read posts published by the Kremlin on Twitter. This includes the accounts of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Moscow’s embassies abroad, and other state institutions.

Gorelkin noted that it was, perhaps “high time” that the block on Twitter was reconsidered by Kremlin. The site has been blocked since last spring. The Russian MP argued that Twitter, might once again, become a convenient platform for Russia to share its stance on global issues and politics with the world.

“If the social network seeks neutrality, we should resume dialogue with it and continue working within the framework of Russian law,”  Gorelkin wrote on Telegram.

Gorelkin further noted that he hopes that Elon Musk wouldn’t change his mind on lifting the ban succumbing to the pressure from the Western government and broadcasters “who have already begun to resent and claim that they receive too little money from the authorities to be considered pro-government.” 

Russia's head of the Safe Internet League and member of the Russian Civic Chamber also welcomed Musk's policy change 'regarding the dissemination of banned content' that she said was a positive step but would leave the US and its allies questioning Musk's move. "The platform is demonstrating a new approach to work following Elon Musk’s purchase. I believe that Russia can start working on revising the decision to restrict the platform’s operations," Ekaterina Mizulina was quoted as saying by Russia Today.

Musk also faced increasing pressure this week over not cracking down on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's Twitter account for pro-Kremlin propaganda. Twitter CEO responded by saying that “all news is to some degree propaganda. Let people decide for themselves.”

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