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Lavrov notes US not interested in cooperating with Russia on cybersecurity

May 29, 2018, 19:50 UTC+3 MINSK

Top duolomat also stressed that the majority of countries support Russia's initiatives

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MINSK, May 29. /TASS/. Washington is currently not interested in maintaining contact with Moscow on cybersecurity, however, several countries support Russian initiatives concerning this issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, during his speech at the Public Administration Academy under aegis of the Belarusian President in Minsk.

According to him, the discussions on how to regulate the Internet have resumed for years. "For obvious reasons, the US are not too interested in these discussions," Lavrov noted. "That is why so far, these discussions haven’t brought any tangible results, but the issue remains - it is related to establishing universal rules of cyber activity."

"We are currently promoting two initiatives [on cybersecurity]. It is a project for the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution, initiated by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, which includes formulating rules of responsible cyber activity for all countries and inviting the states to subscribe to these universal rules. The second project concerns the creation of an international convention on fighting cybercrime," the minister noted.

He also stressed that the majority of countries support the Russian initiatives; however, some Western colleagues "are always trying to look for a downside", despite Moscow’s readiness for "extensive and meaningful dialogue." "For example, the US accuse us of meddling in their elections and other things, of misuse of the Internet, social networks, and of other cybercrimes," Lavrov reminded. "However, long before it began, the Americans had been refusing our offers to create a permanent bilateral working group on cybersecurity, where the experts could study all issues and concerns arising between both countries."

More 'meddling'

The Russian foreign minister also talked about the recent cancellation of bilateral consultations on cybersecurity by the German side. "They have cancelled the meetings because they received information about some Snake hacker group attacking the websites of the German defense and foreign ministries," Lavrov said. "When I asked my colleague, new German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, why they had cancelled the consultations, he replied: "Well, we couldn’t hold the consultations right after you attacked us."

"But this is the first time I’m hearing about this Snake group. And where is the proof?" Lavrov noted. "This is exactly the problem, be it the Skripal incident, the alleged chemical attack near Damascus, the Malaysian Boeing incident." "The EU’s position is formed by an aggressive anti-Russian minority, and this is the environment we have to work in," Lavrov concluded.

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