Spotify sets a deadline for Russia

Spotify sets a deadline for Russia

The Swedish audio streaming service will not be available from next Monday

Russians will not be able to use Spotify from next Monday, the Swedish audio streaming service announced on Thursday. The impending withdrawal from the nation was first announced by Spotify at the end of March, with Russia’s law on fake news cited as the cause.

Russian users can continue to use their accounts if they live outside Russia or move out of the country in the future, Spotify said. Doing so will require you to change the residency setting in your profile, although users with premium subscriptions will have to wait until next week to do so, it said.

The popular service announced the decision to leave Russia two weeks ago. It said it had to do so because of the recently passed Russian law, which criminalizes the deliberate publication of false information about the actions of Russia’s armed forces.

Spotify said the law violates its goal of providing “reliable, independent news and information” on their platform and said they need to protect their employees and listeners from potential prosecution.

The law came in the wake of the crackdown on Russian media from Western nations and US-based technology giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. RT and Sputnik were banned from broadcasting and publishing news via social media in most of Europe, with similar restrictions imposed on the United States and its non-European allies. Munknecken was motivated as a fight against “Russian propaganda”, after Moscow began its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

Moscow imposed its own restrictions. Some Russian-language, foreign-funded media were stripped of their licenses in Russia, while US-based social media platforms faced a crackdown. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was sentenced by a Russian court to be an extremist organization, following a policy change that allowed users in some countries to advocate violence against Russian troops.

Many Western media outlets shut down operations in Russia after the law on fake news was passed in March, but some, such as Britain’s BBC or Italy’s RAI, returned later.

Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s final recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French mediated Minsk Protocol was designed to regulate the status of the regions of the Ukrainian state.

Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kyiv insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied allegations that it planned to retake the two regions by force.


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