The Kremlin has instructed officials involved in the preparations for the 2024 presidential election in Russia to stop using iPhones made by the American company Apple, the Kommersant daily reported. The reason for this decision is to be fears that the devices are vulnerable to the activities of Western intelligence agencies.
At a seminar organized by the Kremlin for officials dealing with domestic policy issues, Sergei Kiriyenko, the first deputy head of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation, told the participants to change their phones by April 1, Kommersant reported, citing unidentified sources.
– It’s over for the iPhone: either throw it away or give it to the children – quotes “Kommersant”, referring to information provided by one of the participants of the meeting. “Everyone will have to do it in March,” he added.
The Kremlin on the use of iPhones
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov when asked about the issue on Monday, he said he could not confirm the reports. “Smartphones should not be used for official matters,” Peskov told reporters. – Each smartphone has a fairly transparent mechanism, regardless of what operating system it has – Android or iOS. Of course, they are not used for official purposes, the Kremlin spokesman said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
According to the Kommersant daily, the Kremlin may supply other devices with other operating systems to replace iPhones. According to the newspaper, the order to stop using the devices from the American manufacturer was addressed to people dealing with internal policy matters – for which Kirijenko is responsible.
Reuters noted that Vladimir Putin he has always claimed not to have a smartphone, though Peskov has said that Putin occasionally uses the internet.
Main photo source: EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV