The AFP reports that journalists spotted the change at a cabinet meeting and minister Nikolai Nikiforov confirmed the switch "took place not so long ago." Nikiforov said that the Samsung tablets were "specially protected devices that can be used to work with confidential information."
"Some of the information at government meetings is confidential in nature and these devices fully meet these demands and have gone through the strictest system of certification."
Nikiforov denied that the switch was due to sanctions put on the country for its takeover of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula; however, he did suggest that the country would be increasingly targeted by surveillance efforts and so they had to be choosy about their partners.
"American special services... will significantly increase the volume of information they intercept (which) of course causes serious concern to many governmental clients. This obviously orientates Russian clients, primarily state ones, to be very choosy about their partners in IT."