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State to Ensure 'balance,' No Total Control of Internet - Minister

MOSCOW. May 12 (Interfax) - The state must guarantee a balance between all Internet participants, Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Igor Schyogolev said at a Russian forum on Internet control.

"The current soft control system established worldwide consists in the state having to guarantee a balance between all Internet participants. The state should only determine the vector of development for communications and information and communication technologies," Schyogolev said.

Russia's position is that Internet development must be free. "We are not going to impose total control," he said. The state can only act as an arbiter in the event of conflicts between Internet sphere participants. "We are expecting constructive cooperation from all Internet participants," he said.

Recent years have seen the share of the Internet sector reach 1.2% of Russia's GDP, and it will only grow further. "We rank third on the European Internet market, but we have every chance to become first," Schyogolev said.

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