Spotify has made the “difficult decision” to completely suspend its services in Russia in response to its laws restricting freedom of expression.
The streaming giant said the legislation, which “criminalized certain types of news,” put its employees and listeners at risk.
Strong censorship laws have been imposed in Russia that can lead to prison sentences of up to 15 years for those who spread information contrary to the government’s narrative about the war in Ukraine.
“Spotify has continued to believe that it is vitally important to try to keep our service operational in Russia in order to provide reliable and independent news and information in the region,” a Spotify spokesperson said.
“Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation that further restricts access to information, suppresses freedom of expression and criminalizes certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify employees and possibly even our listeners at risk.
“After carefully considering our options and the current circumstances, we have made the difficult decision to completely suspend our service in Russia.”
Other streaming and social media sites have taken similar steps in recent weeks, with Netflix and TikTok suspending most of their services in the country earlier this month.