Russia has banned Apple iPhones from use by government officials over surveillance claims by the US, the media reported on Monday.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSS) has told thousands of officials to stop using iPhones and other Apple products like iPads, reports the Financial Times.

Beginning July 17, employees at Russia’s trade ministry will no longer be allowed to use iPhones at the workplace, the report added.

“Security officials in ministries — these are FSB employees who hold civilian positions such as deputy ministers — announced that iPhones were no longer considered safe and that alternates should be sought,” the report said, quoting sources.

The FSB and officials “truly believe that Americans can use their equipment for wiretapping”.

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They added while the FSB has “long been concerned about the use of iPhones for professional contacts”, there may be some resistance to the change.

In March, the Kremlin told officials to stop using Apple products, citing fears these devices were vulnerable to US hacking.

Last month, the Russian government accused Apple of working with US intelligence agencies — a claim the tech giant has vehemently denied.

Apple said the company has “never worked with any government to insert a backdoor into any Apple product”.

The ban on Apple products at leading ministries and institutions “reflects growing concern in the Kremlin and the Federal Security Service spy agency over a surge in espionage activity by US intelligence agencies against Russian state institutions”, the report claimed.

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A Rostec representative told the Financial Times that the restrictions apply to all Apple devices.

But their use for personal purposes is still allowed.