Roskomnadzor accused Google of blackmail and pressure on the court

Representatives of Roskomnadzor accused the American corporation Google of blackmail after its statement about possible risks for Russia associated with the requirement to unblock the YouTube channel Tsargrad or pay a court penalty. The organization had previously threatened to refuse to remove information banned in the country from search results.

"By threatening the Russian state with stopping the removal of prohibited content from search results, the company seeks to manipulate public opinion and put pressure on the judicial authorities. Google is ready to endanger the lives and health of Internet users in Russia, including children and teenagers, for the sake of its commercial interests," the agency said.

Ekaterina Mizulina, director of Safe Internet League, also called Google's behavior unacceptable. In her opinion, the American corporation would never dare to put pressure on the courts of major European countries, such as Germany and France, because then it would face fines of several billion euros. "These companies work in our market and make huge profits, so they should comply with the current Russian legislation and respect the interests of Russian users and business representatives," she stressed.

Earlier it was reported that Google filed an appeal to the Russian court. The company said that the court penalty, which it faces if it does not unblock the channel Tsargrad entails "significant risks to its ability to operate in Russia" as well as "putting at risk" the implementation of the federal law "On Information": Google may stop removing links to materials blocked in Russia from its search results.

Tsargrad is the first Russian conservative information and analytical TV channel on YouTube. It was blocked in the summer of 2020. Its owner Konstantin Malofeev has been under sanctions by the United States, Canada and the European Union since 2014. In April 2021, a Russian court declared the blocking of the YouTube channel illegal and demanded that access to it be returned.