Vladimir Putin suggested the United States “exchanging guarantees of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, including electoral processes.” This statement was published on Friday on the Kremlin’s website. It is not timed to coincide with any specific events.
At the core of the Russian president’s statement is a proposal to develop a “comprehensive program of measures to restore Russian-American cooperation in the field of international information security.” The document relates the need to “reset” relations between Russia and the United States within use of information and communication technologies.
It is proposed, in particular, ensuring the operation of communication channels between Moscow and Washington “through the centers for nuclear danger reduction, teams of rapid response to computer incidents.” It is also proposed to conclude a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on preventing incidents in the information space. On guarantees of non-interference in elections, it is said that they must be provided “in a mutually acceptable form” and affect the field of information and communication technologies. Putin also proposed to conclude a global agreement on not being the first to strike using computer technology.
The American side has not yet reacted to the Kremlin’s statements.
The United States has repeatedly accused Russia of subversive activities in the field of information computer technologies – from large-scale cyber-attacks on the infrastructure of other countries (in particular, Ukraine and Georgia, but also the United States itself) and international organizations and hacker attacks (including on the servers of the Democratic Party in 2016 – one of the main episodes of Russian interference in the United States elections) before the activities of the so-called troll factories, posting fake news on the Internet, using social networks to interfere in elections and other political processes in foreign countries. In particular, employees of the Russian special services, in particular the Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) are accused of being involved in cyberattacks as well as the so-called Internet Research Agency, associated with businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, close to the Kremlin.
Generally, the main point of accusations against Russia of interfering in the US elections are the Russian structures activities in the field of information and communication technologies. The Kremlin denies all charges. The Russian authorities, in turn, accuse the United States of interfering in the elections in Russia (as a rule, they mean critical publications in the American media).
In 2019, The Washington Post wrote the United States had developed a plan for a retaliatory cyberattack against Russia. And this year, President Donald Trump announced that in 2018 he ordered a cyberattack against the Internet Research Agency. He told about in an interview with the Washington Post. Earlier, the newspaper reported the United States was able disconnecting the troll factory office from the Internet on the day of the midterm elections in the United States.
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