MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has demanded that Twitter delete the account of MBK media, a news website critical of the Kremlin, for what it said was a violation of Russian law, MBK said on Wednesday.
MBK said it was accused of posting content from Open Russia, a British-based group founded by exiled former oil tycoon and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and which Moscow labelled as undesirable and banned under a law adopted in 2015.
MBK, which Russia blocked in 2018, is financed by Khodorkovsky.
Moscow said last week it had slowed down the speed of Twitter in Russia in retaliation for what it described as a failure to remove a specific list of banned content and on Tuesday threatened to block the service altogether in one month if its demands were not met.
MBK media published a message from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, which said Twitter had received an official request regarding content on the @MBKhMedia account.
Twitter declined to comment.
Roskomnadzor said MBK media’s Twitter account contained materials from an organisation deemed “undesirable” in Russia, an allegation the news website denied.
“The editorial office has not received any warnings from Roskomnadzor,” MBK media’s editor-in-chief Veronica Kutsyllo said. “MBK media … is a media organisation that has no relationships with any organisations, desirable or undesirable from the point of view of Roskomnadzor.
“We do not publish anyone’s material except our own.”
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Giles Elgood)