Russia’s President Vladimir Putin holds a video convention assembly with college college students on the state residence in Zavidovo on Russian Students Day.
Mikhail Klimentyev | TASS | Getty Images
LONDON — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday criticized the rising affect of U.S. social media giants, saying their influence on society means they are now in a position to compete with elected governments.
Speaking on the digital Davos Agenda summit for the primary time since 2009, Putin mentioned a variety of subjects, together with the coronavirus pandemic, his current cellphone name with President Joe Biden and financial inequality worldwide.
Putin made no point out of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
“Digital giants have been playing an increasingly significant role in wider society,” Putin mentioned through videoconference, in keeping with a translation.
“We are now talking about economic giants, aren’t we? In certain areas, they are competing with states and their audience can include millions and millions of users,” he mentioned, citing current occasions in U.S. politics.
“Here is the question, how well does this monopolism correlate with the public interest?”
Putin didn’t particularly title any know-how corporations.
His feedback on the Davos Agenda summit come amid international outrage over the arrest of Navalny, with some Western authorities officers weighing the potential for new sanctions in opposition to Moscow.
In a defiant problem to Putin, mass demonstrations in additional than 100 cities over the weekend noticed tens of hundreds of individuals protest in opposition to the detention of the opposition chief.
Allies of Navalny have known as for extra protests within the coming days to maintain up the stress on the Kremlin.
Foreign ministers from the U.S., U.Ok., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, in addition to the excessive consultant of the European Union, have condemned the “politically motivated” arrest of Navalny.
The group additionally known as for Navalny’s rapid and unconditional launch and expressed “deep concern by the detainment of thousands of protesters and journalists.”
In response to requires Navalny’s pressing launch from detention, the Kremlin has beforehand mentioned that Navalny’s case has obtained “artificial” resonance within the West.
Separately, President Joe Biden spoke with Putin on Tuesday for the primary time since his inauguration earlier this month. He raised plenty of points with the Russian president, together with the poisoning of Navalny.
Biden warned Putin that the U.S. “will act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies,” in keeping with a press release from the White House.
Navalny, broadly considered essentially the most outstanding and decided critic of Putin, was arrested by Russian authorities on Jan. 17 as his flight from Berlin, Germany landed in a Moscow airport.
He was subsequently ordered to be detained for 30 days by to Feb. 15 and faces the prospect of years in jail.
It was the primary time Navalny had returned to the nation since he was poisoned final summer season.
Navalny had been recovering in Germany after narrowly surviving what has since been independently confirmed as poisoning by a Novichok nerve agent on August. 20.
The 44-year-old has mentioned he believes Putin ordered the poisoning to go forward, reportedly commenting in October final 12 months that he doesn’t see another rationalization.
Putin’s authorities denies poisoning Navalny, although investigative reporters have since printed proof to help Navalny’s claims.