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7 May, 2024 13:05

Russian MP proposes state-run dating service

Vitaly Milonov has suggested using the government’s Gosuslugi digital platform to help citizens find a romantic partner
Russian MP proposes state-run dating service

The Russian government’s state service platform Gosuslugi could host a special section that serves as a dating app, Russian State Duma MP Vitaly Milonov has suggested  

The conservative MP’s proposal comes after most major international dating platforms shut down their operations in Russia following the mass exodus of Western tech companies from the country following the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in 2022. 

In an address sent to Russia’s Minister of Digital Development Maksut Shadayev on Monday, a copy of which has been seen by RT, Milonov argued that despite foreign dating services leaving the country, there is still strong demand for online dating platforms. 

While alternative dating sites still exist, the MP claimed that this industry is filled with services that don’t focus on helping people find reliable life partners and potential spouses, but on “satisfying base sexual needs and finding a sexual partner for one or two nights.”  

Instead, he has proposed creating such a service on Gosuslugi, the digital platform operated by the government that provides citizens with online access to various state and municipal services. 

Given that the platform requires users to confirm their identities using their passports, Milonov argued that this would allow for a dating platform free of scammers, escort girls, prostitutes, “gigolos” and other “scoundrels” and prove to be a safe, reliable and convenient way for people to find life partners. He has also suggested automatically banning married people from accessing the service while also blocking users who engage in too many relationships consecutively.  

However, the response to Milonov’s proposal has so far not been enthusiastic. According to a poll conducted by the newspaper KP and taken by nearly 6,000 people, 79% are against creating such a service on Gosuslugi. Many respondents said that the state service platform is a “serious resource” that should be exclusively used for documents and resolving key issues. 

German Klimenko, a former adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin and head of the Digital Economy Development Fund, also criticized Milonov’s idea, arguing that it is unacceptable for a public servant to suggest treating serious state resources in such a way.  

Klimenko said that despite the exit of platforms such as Tinder, the existing ones are perfectly adequate. He also noted that while it is important to pursue the state’s demographic policy and encourage family formation, new dating services would not actually raise birth rates.