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MOSCOW – Russia will create a new online site for its national encyclopedia after President Vladimir Putin said that Wikipedia was unreliable and needed to be replaced.

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This decision will allow people to find "reliable information constantly updated based on scientifically verified sources of knowledge," said a government resolution.

Last month, Putin proposed to replace the Wikipedia online encyclopedia from multiple sources with an electronic version of the Great Russian Encyclopedia – successor to the main encyclopedia of the Soviet Union.

"Anyway, it would be reliable information offered in a modern form," Putin said at the time.

In 2015, Russia briefly blocked the Russian version of Wikipedia in an article containing information about cannabis under a law banning sites offering content related to drugs.

Moscow has also introduced stricter online controls on the Russian segment of the Internet so that it can continue to operate even if it is cut off from any foreign infrastructure.

The Great Russian Encyclopedia is already available in a basic electronic format.

The new online portal will cost about $ 31 million, said Nov. 21 the editor of the Great Russian Encyclopedia at the TASS news agency.

The government will also set up a national research and education center on the Great Russian Encyclopedia, said the draft resolution signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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