Russia on Tuesday said it has officially warned US internet giant Google against meddling in next Sunday's local elections by posting opposition leader Alexei Navalny's videos calling for mass protests. A Google spokeswoman declined to give a specific comment, telling AFP in an emailed statement that the company "reviews all valid requests from government institutions."
Central Election Commission member Alexander Klyukin said the commission had sent an official letter to Larry Page, the CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, regarding Navalny's use of YouTube.
The fierce Kremlin critic has urged Russians to protest on September 9, when several Russian regions and Moscow elect regional and local officials.
Navalny is currently serving a 30-day sentence for violating public order laws during a protest earlier this year.
"Mr. Navalny buys the company's advertising tools to publish information on YouTube about the mass political event on September 9, on the day of elections," Klyukin said.
"We informed Google that such events on election day will lead to massive violation of the law" because political agitation is banned on election day, he said.
"Meddling by a foreign company in our election is not permitted."
He called Google a "gigantic American company" and hinted that Washington uses it as an influence tool.
US officials have repeatedly warned about the dangers of Russian interference in upcoming elections and there is a full-scale probe underway into Moscow's alleged role in the 2016 presidential election which brought Donald Trump to office.