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Kremlin Denounces U.S. Ban On Kaspersky Software As 'Politicized'

Yevgeny Kaspersky, chief executive of Kaspersky Lab
Yevgeny Kaspersky, chief executive of Kaspersky Lab

The Kremlin on July 12 criticized the U.S. government's decision not to buy products from Russia's Kaspersky Lab as "politicized" while the company said it had fallen victim to a "geopolitical brawl."

The U.S. government moved against Kaspersky on July 11 amid concerns its products could be used by the Kremlin to gain entry into U.S. networks.

"We certainly believe that this is a politicized decision," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "This is an absolutely commercial company which provides commercial services which are not only competitive but are super-competitive globally."

Kaspersky's antivirus software is popular around the world, and the firm has been a leading player in the cybersecurity market for decades.

"By all appearances, Kaspersky Lab has been dragged into a geopolitical brawl where each side is trying to use the company as a pawn in its game," the company said.

Company head Yevgeny Kaspersky has repeatedly offered to meet with U.S. officials and testify before Congress to dispel concern about the security of its products.

U.S. lawmakers fear Moscow might use Kaspersky software to attack American computer networks, a particularly sensitive issue given allegations that Russian hackers interfered in last year's presidential election.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, TASS, and Interfax

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