Moscow: Russia will "make the right choice" on regulating the Internet, President Dmitry Medvedev has said, hinting that the government did not intend to impose bans on websites.
Unlike the Russian press and state-run TV channels, the Runet - or Russian internet - has avoided government censorship and restrictions, turning it into forum for anti-government discussion.
"When people talk about internet regulation, there is a feeling that the state wants to stick its hand in and create the kind of barriers that only exist in specific countries," Medvedev said at a meeting of online media representatives.
"The president`s task is to make the right decisions in terms of regulating public relations, including the internet."
Earlier, the Federal Security Service had caused alarm among Russia`s estimated 60 million internet users by demanding access to internet communication services like Gmail and Skype.
In a move reminiscent of Soviet-style repression, the service claimed the "uncontrolled use of these services could lead to a large-scale threat to Russian security".
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has dismissed fears of full-blown state regulation, saying that "it is not possible to restrict anything".
Medvedev also said Russia may bring forward an initiative to protect intellectual property from internet piracy.