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MOSCOW, September 4. /TASS/. Russia and South Africa have penned a cooperation agreement on cyber security, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The document was inked by the two countries’ top diplomats, Sergey Lavrov of Russia and Maite Nkoana-Mashsbane of South Africa, on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in China’s Xiamen.
"On September 4, on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashsbane signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the area of international information security," the ministry said, adding that this agreement could be seen as "yet more proof of the high level of trust" between the countries.
The document "reflects the spirit of true strategic partnership which is characteristic of Russian-South African relations," the ministry said. "The pact demonstrated Russia’s and South Africa’s commitment to expanding bilateral cooperation in one of the most up-to-date areas of international and national security."
"Xiamen saw another stage in the history of Russian-South-African information security cooperation, with the countries committing to paper the character of their approaches to ensuring such security and laying a legal basis for the implementation of concrete joint initiatives in this sphere," the ministry stressed.
"Russia and South Africa share positions on evaluating key threats in the sphere of international information security," the ministry noted. "They include, in particular, the use of information and communications technologies to commit acts of aggression, violate sovereignty, security and the territorial integrity of states, to interfere into their domestic affairs, to incur damage to the economy and for terrorism and other criminal purposes."
According to the Russian foreign ministry, this accord will help Russia and South Africa "carry out practical cooperation along the entire spectrum of characteristics of international information security at a qualitatively new level."
The document provides for the "establishment of a joint response system to threats in this sphere, carrying out of bilateral measures of trust, cooperation in the law enforcement sphere to investigate cases linked to information and communications technologies in terrorism and for other criminal purposes, cooperation in the development and support of relevant norms in international law, joint research activities, and training specialists in that sphere," the ministry explained.
The agreement will help Russia’s and South Africa’s security agencies establish "direct dialogue on key areas of international information security," the ministry said. "Apart from that, this document will make it possible for Russia and South Africa to coordinate their approaches to information security problems on the international arena more closely."
The document provides for regular bilateral consultations on information security.