The Kremlin has ordered Russian government staff to jettison their iPhones for smartphones from other companies by the end of the month, specifying that their issue is with Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, according to Yahoo News.

Employees of the Putin administration were instructed: "No more iPhones. Either throw them away or give them to your children. Everyone will have to do this in March,” Russian daily Kommersant reported.

Sources told the publication that the new ban on iPhone was due to security worries. The Kremlin is concerned that the Apple phones are more easily hacked and vulnerable to Western espionage compared to other smartphones.

Putin administration staff were encouraged to purchase phones with the Android operating system, Russian alternative Aurora OS, or the Chinese equivalent.

The order is reportedly part of a push by the Kremlin for its employees to stop using American technology.

Regional domestic policy staff will also be receiving a notification to switch to other phones, the report said.

The Aurora OS was reportedly developed ahead of a Kremlin plan to install a “sovereign mobile ecosystem” in the country that is not dependent on Western technology firms.