Russia does not plan to block WhatsApp – senator

Blocking the WhatsApp messenger belonging to the US-based Meta corporation is not under consideration, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Andrey Klishas told TASS on Tuesday.

"There are no plans to block WhatsApp," Klishas said.

On March 21, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court ruled in favor of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office and recognized the activities of Instagram and Facebook, owned by the US-based Meta, as extremist, banning their operations in Russia. The WhatsApp messenger, which is also owned by Meta, wasn’t affected by the ruling. In addition, citizens and organizations will not be accused of extremism for using Facebook and Instagram.

At the same time, Meta is prohibited from opening offices and doing business in Russia. The Prosecutor General's Office and the Federal Security Service, or FSB, believe that Meta's activities are directed against Russia and the Russian armed forces. The reason why the Prosecutor General's Office took the matter to court was Meta’s temporary lifting of the ban for residents of a number of countries to post on its social networks calls for violence against Russian nationals. 


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