Removal in Russia

An app created by allies of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny that has drawn the ire of Russian authorities appeared to have been removed from Apple and Google stores Friday ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections this weekend.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the move comes after Apple and Google representatives were invited Thursday to meet at the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, after which the council said that Apple had agreed to cooperate with repeated demands from authorities to remove the app over concerns of election interference.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation told the AP that Russian officials also pushed Google to remove the app in the face of legal demands by regulators and threats of criminal prosecution.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration “definitely, of course” welcomes the move by the companies, arguing that the app was operating “outside the law.”