Europe lifts sanctions on Yandex co-founder

The Council of Europe has lifted sanctions targeting Arkadi Voloj, the co-founder of the Russian Internet specialist Yandex, according to information from the specialist magazine Wired

Europe lifts sanctions on Yandex co-founder

The Council of Europe has lifted sanctions targeting Arkadi Voloj, the co-founder of the Russian Internet specialist Yandex, according to information from the specialist magazine Wired. Mr. Voroj, then chief executive officer (CEO) of Yandex, was sanctioned in June 2022, four months after the invasion of Ukraine, in particular because his search engine had “promoted state media and elements of language [of the Kremlin] in its research results, and made content critical of Russian power less visible.”

Yandex, founded in 1997, is often billed as the “Russian Google.” Partly controlled by the State, the company has, like its American counterpart, widely diversified its activities over the years, launching mapping, e-mail, or, more recently, VTC or intelligence services. artificial. Under international sanctions, and facing a flight of its engineers, the company decided to separate into two entities: the first based in Russia, the other, bringing together the group's activities around the world, established in The Netherlands.

Mr. Voloj, who has lived in Israel since 2014, remained as head of Yandex until June 2023; he still owns 8.5% of the Dutch company. At the same time, he was one of the rare Russian businessmen to publicly criticize the Kremlin's actions, describing the war as "barbaric" and denouncing, in August 2023, the bombings against Ukrainian civilians.