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Russia’s ‘socially significant’ websites should be accessible to everyone free of charge – Putin

Russia’s ‘socially significant’ websites should be accessible to everyone free of charge – Putin
Free access to key Russian websites will give people wider opportunities to communicate, learn new things, and be creative; this will give the country a competitive advantage, Vladimir Putin has said.

The president’s annual state of the nation address focused on improving demographics and finding ways of increasing the quality of life for the population.

The internet has a huge part to play in this, and because the web is now “a daily life necessity” for most Russians, Putin suggested the “Accessible Internet” project should be launched nationwide.

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Russia is one of the few countries in the world to have its own social networks, messengers, email and search systems, he said.

“Everywhere across the country free access to the ‘socially significant’ Russian-made websites must be provided. In this case, the people wouldn’t have to pay for the telecom service itself; for the internet traffic,” Putin said.

This will give people new opportunities to participate in the life of the country.

Easier access to the internet will provide “a wide space for education and creative work, communication and realization social and cultural projects,” the president said, adding that this will make Russia and Russians more competitive in the international arena.

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Russia’s top telecom provider, Rostelecom, backed Putin’s initiative, saying that “in every situation a person must have the right to use a social or state service online.”  

The measure should initially cover the websites of state agencies, social services, and medical organizations, it added.

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