13:56 GMT23 September 2020
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    Amid reports claiming that the Russian-based Kaspersky Lab could close its branch in Washington, the company told Sputnik that it plans to open three new offices in the US.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity company plans to open three new offices in the United States in 2018, but in connection with the difficult geopolitical situation is studying options for optimizing its unit in Washington, the company told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "All three existing offices of Kaspersky Lab in the United States currently operate, including the unit in Washington. However, in connection with the difficult geopolitical situation, Kaspersky Lab is studying options to optimize the company's unit in Washington," a company spokesman said.

    The comment comes after Russian news portal The Bell quoted sources as saying that Kaspersky Lab could close its branch Kaspersky Government Security Solutions in Washington, which was in charge of contacts with government agencies.

    Moreover, this summer media reports said that the US government plans to limit the use of Kaspersky products in the country over the company's alleged ties to Russian intelligence services in a move the Kremlin called "politicized."

    On July 11, the Bloomberg news agency published an article which said that emails obtained by the agency's Bloomberg Businessweek revealed that the Kaspersky Lab allegedly developed products for Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and supported its agents during raids.

    Kaspersky Lab has denied these media allegations and reiterated its status as a private company without political ties to any country. The firm also noted its CEO Eugene Kaspersky's repeated offer to testify before the US Congress and turn over its source code for official verification.

    Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov said earlier that response measures cannot be ruled out if the United States banned the use of Kaspersky Lab products.


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