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Microsoft restricted Sputnik at the request of European governments: Brad Smith, President & Vice Chair of Microsoft, wrote in a blog post that Microsoft has restricted access to Sputnik in its app store, its news aggregator MSN and in Bing search results. The company also banned it from running ads through its sites. "In accordance with the EU’s recent decision, the Microsoft Start platform (including MSN.com) will not display any state-sponsored RT and Sputnik content," wrote Smith. "We are removing RT news apps from our Windows app store and further de-ranking these sites’ search results on Bing so that it will only return RT and Sputnik links when a user clearly intends to navigate to those pages. Finally, we are banning all advertisements from RT and Sputnik across our ad network and will not place any ads from our ad network on these sites." He said Microsoft made the decision in order to "reduce the exposure of Russian state propaganda, as well to ensure our own platforms do not inadvertently fund these operations."