World, Europe

Russia vows not to block YouTube

Russia passed 'sovereign Internet' law to protect from being cut from global network, not blocking websites, says premier

Elena Teslova   | 05.12.2019
Russia vows not to block YouTube


Russia's prime minister said on Thursday that Moscow would not block video-sharing platform YouTube in the country.

In a televised interview, Dmitry Medvedev said a recent law on sovereign internet rights had been adopted not for blocking websites, but to protect Russia from being cut off from the global network.

"Those who earn on YouTube will be able to earn -- although this depends not on us, but on the policy of YouTube itself," he said.

On Nov. 1, a "sovereign Internet" law took effect in Russia, under which internet providers are required to install special equipment to track and reroute traffic, as well as filter content and block websites.

Earlier, the Russian parliament passed a law demanding data storage of Russian users of foreign websites in Russia.


Turning to Russian-Ukrainian relations, Medvedev said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky seeks to restore peace in the country.

"Obviously, the current president wants to determine key issues of his country's development, including [relations] with Russia, so that there will be peace, so that trade and economic relations can be resumed at a higher level [between Russia and Ukraine]," Medvedev said, adding that former leader Petro Poroshenko had made efforts to hinder the process.

Russia and Ukraine have been at loggerheads since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea after a controversial referendum.

Since Zelensky was elected last May, the two countries agreed on the separation of troops in eastern Ukraine, exchanging detainees and Russia's return of Ukrainian vessels, seized in confrontation in November 2019.

On Dec. 9, a summit between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany is slated to take place in Paris. The main topic of the meeting is to examine the progress achieved and to define further steps.


Medvedev said he saw protests that broke out this year as a "demand for justice".

Adding that it is necessary to observe the existing law while expressing disagreements, he argued that disputes could not be resolved "in the streets".

"People can express their opinion -- this is absolutely normal. But, they have to express their opinion in the order provided by the current rules," he said.

Last summer, a wave of protests struck Russia's capital Moscow. Thousands were detained amid protests against the poor representation of opposition candidates in local elections.

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