Russian Deputy PM Lends Support To Social Networking Site

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(RIA Novosti – London, May 2, 2013)(Dateline as received) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov hopes that social network VKontakte will continue despite the problems surrounding its founder, Pavel Durov.

Social network VKontakte has recently found itself at the centre of several scandals. Information has appeared in the media about Durov’s involvement in a high-profile road accident in central St Petersburg in early April 2013. A policeman was injured, while the perpetrator disappeared from the scene of the incident. As part of the investigation, a search was carried out at the social network’s offices on 16 April. The social network’s press secretary said that Durov does not have a car and does not drive.

“As regards social network VKontakte, it seems to me that there are complex processes taking place there. I known Pavel very well, and I have great respect for him. I know that all sorts of things are being said. I do not know what happened there, but I think that they will get to the bottom of things. However, there is an ambiguous situation which is due to, among other things, ownership, new deals. I am sure that the network will continue because it is very popular in Russia,” said Surkov on Thursday (as received, should be Wednesday 1 May) speaking at the London School of Economics.

The deputy prime minister expressed hope that “all will be well” with the social network.

“VKontakte has been criticized a lot for various things, but it is a fact that they are a very talented team and a very popular site in Russia,” said Surkov. (Passage omitted)