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Russian Official Says Google And Apple Have Hit 'Point Of No Return'

Jayson Derrick

According to Russian officials, U.S. companies, including Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)'s Google and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), have reached the "point of no return."

Speaking to Bloomberg, Russia's "Internet Czar" German Klimenko said that Google and Apple will need to pay higher amounts of taxes to the Russian government. He noted that a higher tax rate on foreign Internet companies can improve the competitive landscape for Russia-based Internet companies, such as Yandex NV (NASDAQ: YNDX).

Klimenko also suggested that banning Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)'s Windows from use in government facilities is a necessary move.

"We are breeding the cow and they are milking it," Klimenko told Bloomberg. He added, "When you buy an app from Google Play or the App Store anywhere in Europe, VAT is charged at the place of payment, but not here in our banana republic."

Klimenko also alleged that companies like Google can track "everything" and responded to 32,000 requests a year from U.S. law-enforcement agencies but won't help Russian agencies with similar requests.

Finally, Klimenko argued that many U.S. companies "reached the point of no return" when they complied with sanctions over Russia's annexation of Crimea by ceasing all business with the peninsula. As a result, it is "inevitable" that Russia will take action, such as removing Windows from government offices.

"It's like a wife seeing her husband with another woman -- he can swear an oath afterward, but the trust is lost," Klimenko said.

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