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Moscow hopes Washington will set up team for dialogue on cyber security

ZAVIDOVO/Tver Region/, May 25. /TASS/. Moscow hopes that the United States will set up a team for discussing issues related to cyber security, Russian president’s special envoy for international cooperation in information security, Andrey Krutskikh, told TASS.

"We have an understanding that this (cyber security) is a priority and an important issue," Krutskikh, who is also ambassador-at-large, said on the sidelines of the international meeting of high representatives in charge of security issues.

"Discussions on this issue should be held. The Russian side is ready for discussion, it is up to the US to form a respective team and take a political decision," the diplomat said.

"I think that in the final end, the US administration will manage to overcome domestic opposition and form a team for a serious and practical dialogue with us on this issue," Krutskikh said. "There cannot be any other way."

Speaking on the recent WannaCry cyber attack, the diplomat said that Russia had warned "that international criminals and terrorists had been preparing such attacks." "That’s why uniting efforts of such countries as Russia and the United States in the fight against such threats is vital and is a priority," he stressed.

On May 12, hackers tried to attack Windows OS computers in 74 countries with a WannaCry virus that infects computer files and extorts bitcoin ransom to unblock them. According to European police services, at least 200,000 individuals and legal entities were targets of ransomware cyber attacks in 150 world nations. Most of the attempts at infecting computers were registered in Russia.

Computers of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, Interior Ministry, the Russian Railways company and one the country’s biggest banks, Sberbank, as well as the Megafon and Vimpelcom mobile phone operators, were attacked. Russia’s Central Bank said in a statement that cyber attacks on the country’s banks had been registered but caused no damage.