Russia accuses YouTube of blocking parliamentary channel accounts

Russian officials on Saturday accused US video hosting service YouTube of blocking lower house of parliament channels and warned of retaliation.

Duma chief BachāĻšslav Volodin said Washington was violating “Russian rights” while Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said YouTube had “sealed its fate”.

“The United States wants to have a monopoly on the dissemination of information,” Volodymyr told the Telegram.

“We cannot allow this.”

Google has confirmed that it has “shut down” the Russian state Duma YouTube channel due to recent US sanctions.

“Google is committed to complying with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws,” a Google spokesman told AFP in a statement.

“If we find that an account violates our Terms of Service, we will take appropriate action.”

AFP reporters have confirmed that the site is not accessible.

According to Moscow, Duma-TV has more than 145,000 subscribers. It broadcasts clips of parliamentary debates and interviews with Russian lawmakers.

Russia’s state-run communications watchdog said on Thursday it would ban US Internet giant Google from advertising its services in the country, accusing YouTube of spreading “fake news” about its military operation in Ukraine.

Russia has gone on to block access to non-state media and information sources, and fears are growing that Google could be next in line for sanctions.

The watchdog said Google-owned YouTube had committed “numerous violations” of Russian law and that it was “a key platform, distributing fake news about special military operations in Ukraine, disrespecting Russia’s armed forces”.

It said it had decided to “introduce a system of coercion”.

It said it included a “ban on advertising distribution for Google LLC and its data sources”.

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