The Russian government has blocked a campaign website linked to opposition leader Alexei Navalny, stating that it was illegally promoting an "extremist organization." As of Tuesday, the website created by Navalny's associates is no longer accessible.

The blocking of the SmartVoting website comes just days before the nation's parliamentary elections. The website advocated for Russians to vote for opposition candidates for them to take the majority and beat the United Russia party at the upcoming Sept. 19 elections.

According to Russia's communications regulator, the Roskomnadzor, the website was taken down because it had been used to promote and continue the activities of the Foundation for Fight Corruption, which the government has labeled as an extremist group.

The organization, which was led by Navalny, was labeled as an extremist group back in June. Politicians who were associated with the group have also been forbidden to run for office - a move that has sparked a widespread outcry in the country.

Before the website was taken down, Russia had threatened both Google and Apple with penalties if they did not take down the SmartVoting app from their respective app stores.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the proliferation of such apps that promote extremist organizations can be interpreted as "further connivance" and interference by U.S. tech companies in the domestic affairs of the Russian state. She added that both companies should not allow the publication of "banned materials" in the country.  

A Moscow Arbitration Court had also issued an order to Google and Russian search engine Yandex to stop serving users search results for the phrase "smart voting." The order was given after a company called Woolintertrade claimed that Navalny's app had infringed on its copyrighted logo. Navalny's camp slammed the court decision, stating that it was "illegal" and that the rapid issuance of the order right before elections was questionable.

Similar to the website, the app is meant to help voters choose specific candidates to go against those backed by the ruling United Russian party. Navalny plans to use the app to gain new ground against the allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin during the upcoming elections.