MOSCOW, October 4./TASS/. Moscow warns Washington that intentionally worsening the situation in relations between the nuclear states is a slippery slope, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.
"We are watching with regret US authorities' continuous attempts to mar the atmosphere of Russian-American relations with new portions of unfounded accusations against Russia, that some other NATO countries hasten to repeat at Washington's command," the diplomat said. "Wester public is once again intimidated with ‘Russian hackers’, this time the ‘hacking’ of computer networks almost the world over is ascribed to them," Ryabkov went on to say.
"Russia is used to such methods of the US (anti-Russian accusations that can be used as a pretext for new sanctions - TASS), but intentionally fueling tensions in relations between the nuclear states and on the international arena is a dangerous road," he said.
"Canada and those European countries that are loyally servicing American claims to global hegemony should also think about this," he added.
By accusing Russia of cyberattacks, Washington is trying to save the myth of Russia’s US election meddling and create more pretexts for anti-Russian sanctions, Sergei Ryabkov said.
"Washington is desperately trying to save the old legend of ‘Russian interference into the 2016 US presidential election.’ That is why they are trying to substantiate it with new hoaxes and keep deceiving the US society and the international community in order to create an additional pretext for sanctions and other means of putting pressure on our country," he said.
The US has announced "an indictment charging seven Russian military officers with violations of several U.S. criminal laws for malicious cyber activities against the United States and its allies," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers told a news conference on Thursday.
Earlier, Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld claimed at a news conference that Dutch military intelligence and security services had allegedly foiled an attack by Russian hackers against the OPCW. She claimed that four Russians - Alexey Morenets, Yevgeny Serebryakov, Oleg Sotnikov and Alexey Minin - were involved in the incident. Bijleveld claimed that all four worked for the Main Directorate (formerly the Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU) of Russia’s General Staff. If she is to be believed, the equipment confiscated from them was evidence that they had tried to get access to information about the Malaysian MH17 flight disaster in Ukraine.
Also on Thursday, UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt blamed the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces for organizing a series of cyberattacks which affected people’s interests across the globe. Hunt stated, as quoted by the Press Association, that Russian intelligence services are allegedly behind the attacks on political entities, businesses, media outlets and sports organizations.