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Russia’s Kaspersky To Dial Down Government Services In U.S.

The Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab is considering closing its Washington, D.C. office due to strained relations with the U.S., a report has claimed. The company says it is expanding its North American presence—though well away from D.C.

According to the report, in newsletter The Bell, the firm may shutter its Kaspersky Government Security Solutions office as government agencies – who are among the world’s biggest buyers of cybersecurity tools – are effectively banned from using its services.

Recent reports have claimed there are close ties between Kaspersky and Russian intelligence. A couple weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology asked 22 government agencies to share documents about their dealings with the firm.

Questions over Kaspersky’s motives have even led the U.S. electronics chain Best Buy to stop stocking Kaspersky antivirus software.

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In a Tuesday statement, Kaspersky said it was “exploring opportunities to better optimize” the D.C. office. However, it claimed this was because “U.S. government sales have not been a significant part of the company’s activity in North America.”

Kaspersky said it plans to open three new offices in North America next year—in Chicago, Toronto and Los Angeles—”as part of its ongoing commitment to the market.”

“Despite geopolitical turbulence we remain committed to N. American customers,” CEO Eugene Kaspersky said in a tweet.