BRUSSELS, April 15. /TASS/. EU member states have expressed solidarity with the US over its new sanctions against Russia, a declaration by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell published on Thursday reads.
"The European Union and its Member States express their solidarity with the United States on the impact of malicious cyber activities, notably the SolarWinds cyber operation, which, the United States assesses, has been conducted by the Russian Federation," the statement reads. "The compromise affected governments and businesses worldwide, including in EU Member States."
"We share the concerns of our partners about the increasing number of malicious cyber activities, and are in particular alarmed by the recent increase in activities affecting the security and integrity of information and communication technology (ICT) products and services, which might have systemic effects and cause significant harm to our society, security and economy," the document notes.
"Malicious use of ICTs undermines the benefits that the Internet and the use of ICTs provide to society at large, and shows the readiness of some actors to effectively risk international security and stability," the statement continues.
According to Borrell, "all actors must refrain from irresponsible and destabilising behaviour in cyberspace." "We will continue to investigate malicious cyber activities with a view to sustained, joint and coordinated action to prevent, discourage, deter and respond to such malicious behaviour in cyberspace, including by closely working with our international partners. We call upon all States to facilitate and play a constructive role in ongoing investigations, and to take appropriate action to promote the security and integrity of ICT products and services and their supply chain," the declaration points out.
The EU foreign policy chief added that Brussels continues to work "towards the establishment of a Programme of Action to Advance Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace within the United Nations, building on the work of the UN Groups of Governmental Experts in this field, and the recent endorsement of this framework by the Open-ended Working Group." "The European Union and its Member States remain strongly committed and determined in their solidarity with their international partners in promoting a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace respecting human rights, fundamental freedoms, democratic values and principles and the rule of law, in order for everyone to safely live their lives online, as well as offline," he concluded.
New US anti-Russian sanctions
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia. In particular, the US government is prohibiting its companies from acquiring Russian debt obligations issued by the Bank of Russia, the Russian National Wealth Fund or the Russian Ministry of Finance after June 14, 2021. Besides, the US Treasury Department slapped sanctions on 16 organizations and 16 individuals allegedly involved in interfering in US elections. In addition, Washington introduced sanctions against eight individuals and legal entities tied to Crimea, including members of the Crimean government.
The United States is also expelling 10 diplomats working at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. According to the US administration, they "include members of Russian intelligence services.".