A lawmaker from the ruling party in Russia launched the idea to ban Zoom on Wednesday after the video conferencing company reportedly told its distributors to stop selling subscriptions to Russian public institutions.
Russian daily Kommersant said Zoom had banned distributors from selling access to its service to companies and public institutions, citing a letter from Zoom representative in the region, RightConf, dated March 31.
Zoom and RightConf had no immediate comment.
“Russia is not a supporter of sanctions, but if Zoom takes such a decision vis-à-vis state institutions and companies, then blocking the service on the territory of our country is possible as a reciprocal measure and symmetrical, “quoted the RIA news agency. Alexander Bashkin, of the United Russia party, told the upper house of parliament.
The row comes as the threat of further US sanctions hangs over Russia for allegedly meddling in the US election and cyber-hacking – accusations Moscow denies – and Russia targets foreign internet companies for failing to remove it. so-called prohibited content.
The Kremlin said it has used Zoom for some international video calls, but President Vladimir Putin rarely uses the service and alternative solutions are available.
“In general, we express our regret and confusion as to why Russian public institutions and higher education institutions are now deprived of the possibility of extending existing contracts and entering into new ones,” said the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on a conference call.
He did not raise the possibility of a Zoom ban.
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