15:55 GMT19 January 2021
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    The recent decision of the US authorities to remove Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab from the list of approved vendors for government agencies can be interpreted as an extension of the anti-Russian sanctions, Leonid Levin, the head of the Russian parliament's lower house Committee for Information Policy, said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The decision was reportedly made earlier this week over company's alleged ties with Russian intelligence services.

    "The situation around the domestic company is a continuation of anti-Russian hysteria, however, now it has been used to remove a serious competitor to US producers from the US market. This decision can be interpreted as new sanctions against our firms successfully working abroad," Levin told reporters.

    According to Levin, such actions are taking place against the backdrop of the increasing role of Russian IT companies abroad and the creation of unique domestic technologies in the fight against cybercrime.

    "Instead of uniting forces on this issue, as our leadership consistently talks about, we see a movement in the opposite direction by our US colleagues," Levin added.

    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.

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    Tags:
    Kaspersky Lab, Leonid Levin, US, Russia
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