Russia Wants Cyber ​​Pact ‘Before It’s Too Late,’ US Hopes World Rejects

A senior State Department official has told newsweek That the United States is calling for the rejection of an appeal by Russia’s top cyber diplomat to engage in efforts to establish a global pact to avoid an all-out war in the digital realm.

Appeal was given a day earlier newsweek Andrey Krutsky, through the Kremlin’s Special Representative for Cooperation in the Field of Information Security, ahead of an important meeting on Monday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by the UN’s open-ended working group dedicated to cyber security efforts.

“Modern life is impossible without information and communication technologies (ICT),” Krutsikh said. newsweek at that time. “They determine our well-being, security and survival. By relying on them, we can become rich or lose all our savings. They are transcendent and almost omnipotent.”

“Amidst this reality,” he said, “the main task is not to intimidate each other with digital means, but to try to reach agreements before it is too late.”

The senior Russian diplomat, who also serves as director of the International Information Security Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned that “a cyber attack, whether accidental or intended, involves [one] That, under a false flag, could easily escalate tensions between states, leading to full-scale conflicts.”

Such an increase, Krutschich argued, could result in a “global ecological, anthropogenic or socio-economic disaster”, not dissimilar to the warnings given by nuclear weapons. And despite rising tensions between Moscow and Washington, he said Russia is ready to negotiate multilateral agreements governing cyber warfare, as the international community did with Cold War weapons of mass destruction.

“Regardless of geopolitics, Russia is open to dialogue and cooperation on information security with all states, and the United States is no exception,” Krutsikh said. “While our countries take special responsibility for ensuring global peace and security, Russia invites its partners from the US to establish the foundation for bilateral dialogue in the cyber domain.”

But a senior State Department official dismissed the effort, pointing to Russia’s war that began in neighboring Ukraine nearly a month ago, a conflict in which Moscow has been accused of carrying out cyberattacks in addition to its land, air and sea hostilities. Is charged.

“The behavior of the Russian government raises questions about its genuine intention to ‘lead’ the cyber dialogue at the United Nations,” the senior State Department official said. “Based on its unprovoked and unreasonable attack on Ukraine and its use of cyber tools in the context of that conflict, we can only assume that the real goal of the Russian government is to create a framework that all other states follow but which it will ignore.”

Members of the US Cyber ​​Command on April 2, 2021 at Fort George G., Maryland. The Integrated Cyber ​​Center in Meade operates in a Joint Operations Center. “USCYBERCOM is the frontline of the military engaged in mitigating other adversarial cyber attacks against the Russian as well as the United States,” the US military said.
Joseph Cole / US Cyber ​​Command

Russia played a key role in bringing cyber security to the agenda of the United Nations, which sponsored the first draft resolution on the issue in 1998, two decades before Moscow formed an open-ended working group.

But as relations between the US and Russia soured during the 21st century, the entire length of the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin, four successive administrations have been battling the Kremlin, which has sought to re-establish itself on the world stage. . And now more than ever, with relations at their lowest, Washington has expressed doubts about Moscow’s efforts.

“We need to look at the things that the Russian government has been doing for years in international multilateral bodies,” said the senior State Department official, who aims to do the same thing they are doing in Ukraine – to subvert international rules. -based order that the international community has built over the decades.”

The senior State Department official said that despite the absence of a legally binding treaty governing cyber security, the United Nations has already made progress in addressing the topic.

“United Nations member states have worked for more than two decades on conflict prevention in cyberspace,” the senior State Department official said. “Over the past decade, we have achieved hard-won consensus confirmation of the applicability of international law, including the United Nations Charter, to state behavior in cyberspace.”

Washington prefers to work on multilateral cyber issues through the UN’s closed-door group of government experts, which includes representatives from 25 countries, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Moscow has sought to lead a more inclusive approach through an open-ended working group, to which 39 countries and four regional and international organizations contributed during the latest session last March.

The US did not participate and, given the ongoing feud between the two, a senior State Department official had little hope of Washington’s involvement this time.

“With its further invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government is violating the UN Charter,” the official said. “We can only imagine how frivolously Russia treats the framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.”

Therefore, rather than pursue areas of cooperation in this area or other, the senior State Department official said countries should actively refrain from bolstering Moscow’s diplomatic efforts.

“We have already seen movements in some multilateral organizations to remove the Russian Federation from leadership positions,” the official said. “But it is more important than ever that the international community stand together to deny the Russian government the ability to achieve its agenda through multilateral diplomacy.”

“I hope Putin’s efforts to isolate us have backfired,” the official said. “I am excited by the renewed commitment to our alliances and partnerships and a strong desire to stand together in defense of the international rules-based order.”

The latest dispute between the two top nuclear weapons powers with some of the world’s most sophisticated cyber warfare capabilities came as President Joe Biden issued a warning on Monday that Moscow was planning to conduct cyberattacks on American soil, rallying his A possible retaliation for the administration’s efforts. An international coalition of sanctions and sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

And while Anne Neuberger, the White House’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, said the signs were limited to “some initial activity we’re seeing”, the president told a CEO roundtable later that day that ” The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capability is quite consequential, and it is coming.”

The US and Russia have long accused each other of malicious cyber activities, and Moscow has vehemently denied the latest allegations emerging from the Biden administration.

“Washington has for many years created a frenzy about Moscow’s alleged conspiracies for some malicious actions against the United States,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Siromolotov told the state-run Tass Russian news agency on Wednesday. “Against the background of the situation in Ukraine we see another upsurge of Russophobia.”

Like Krutskikh, Siromolotov called on the US to join forces with a four-point resolution first introduced by Putin in September 2020 to address issues of “international information security” and said the White House was “damaging in their efforts”. The allegations must stop spreading “to excuse their own miscalculations in home and foreign policies.”

Putin’s plan will include “regular full-scale bilateral inter-agency high-level dialogue” on cyber security issues, the resumption of already “continuous and effective functioning of communication channels” on nuclear risk reduction and computer preparedness. “A bilateral intergovernmental agreement on the prevention of incidents in the information sector”, similar to previous US-Soviet maritime agreements, and “guarantees of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”.

The issue was front and center when Biden and Putin held their first in-person summit in Geneva in June last year, and while working-level talks took place, no concrete deal emerged as the crisis loomed large over Ukraine and relations. deteriorated.

In the midst of war, diplomacy continues to suffer. The US expelled a dozen Russian diplomats from the country’s permanent mission to the United Nations late last month, and Moscow retaliated on Wednesday by declaring an unspecified number of US diplomats “personalities non greta”.

And as the Biden administration continues to warn of possible Russian cyber attacks against the homeland, the president addressed European allies during a visit to NATO headquarters in Belgium and then to Poland, a NATO member that shares a border with Ukraine. To set up abroad on Wednesday. that tens of thousands of Ukrainians are crossing over to flee the genocide.

Biden has vowed to “defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power”, and Coalition Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has underlined that a cyber attack, not just a physical one, is part of the bloc’s Article 5 Collective Defense. can trigger the segment.

Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that NATO allies are seeking to provide additional “cyber security assistance” to Ukraine as the war continues, and earlier in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to include Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. It also announced a doubling of the existing coalition’s battle groups. ,

However, he insisted that “NATO will not send troops to Ukraine.”

But amid reports that Poland is considering sending peacekeeping forces to the neighboring country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “I hope they understand what they are talking about.”

“It will be a very direct conflict between the Russian and NATO armed forces,” Lavrov said, “which everyone not only wanted to avoid, but said it should never happen in principle.”

Joe, Biden, Air, Force, One, Brussels, Belgium
US President Joe Biden disembarks from Air Force One as he arrives at Brussels airport on March 23, on the eve of a NATO summit about Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Kenzo Triboulard / Getty Images

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