Internet giants were accused of interfering in the sovereign affairs of the Russian Federation.
Roskomnadzor accused Facebook and Google of allowing political ads during regional elections on September 8 and the day before. It is stated that despite the warning from officials, the Internet giants continued to display ads, which also appeared on YouTube.
A statement posted on the Roskomnadzor website said the advertisement was "unacceptable" and that it could be seen as "interfering in the sovereign affairs" of the country and "obstructing the holding of democratic elections in the Russian Federation." According to the regulator, such actions are "unacceptable" on the part of foreign companies. However, there was no mention of possible punitive actions, most likely, they will not be at all.
Reuters journalists tried to get comments from Facebook and Google, but they did not succeed. It is to be expected that no reaction will follow. But this is not the first time Russia has put pressure on large foreign companies to comply with antitrust and data retention laws. And the accusation from Roskomnadzor will contribute to growing tension between the state and companies.
Most likely, such a step on the part of the Russian authorities is a response to the repeated accusations of Russia of interfering in the functioning of the electoral system of other countries. Particularly during the 2016 US presidential election.