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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

03.11.2017

Statement of the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Oleg Khramov at the international OSCE conference on cybersecurity, Vienna, 3 November 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is absolutely clear that in the foreseeable future global informatization will be the key trend in the development of society.

Under such conditions, security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) becomes one of the major items on the international agenda, the topic to consolidate the international community.

However, today there are controversies between participants of the discussion regarding the basic principles upon which the system of international information security is to be built.

A number of countries proceed from the assumption that information space has already become a battleground. Thus, their suggestion is to focus one's efforts on regulating inevitable - as they believe - military and political conflicts implying the use of ICT, while it is stated that the regulation mechanisms are to be based on unconditional applicability of existing norms of the international law, the norms that were developed in the «рrе-digital age».

Taking into consideration that in reality it is impossible to reliably determine a source of computer attacks, we believe that such an approach in fact legitimatizes the possibility to carry out not only informational but military operations against «unfavourable» States.

The other approach, the one that Russia is adhering to, is based on non- admission of information space militarization and on non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. On unconditional recognition of «digital» sovereignty of States.

We believe that it is unacceptable to resort to unfounded accusations of having carried out computer attacks while using the accusations as a tool in order to exert political pressure.

We proceed from the fact that, despite differences between the approaches, all of us are united by a common goal that is prevention of conflicts in the information field.

To this end after twenty years of collaborative work, the major step should be finally taken. That means that additional legal norms should be specified, the norms that take into account unique characteristics of modem information technologies. At the same time, discussion of issues of military and political application of ICT should be held at the top expert level.

We are convinced that there can be no alternative to the United Nations as a representative platform for it. The UN Group of Governmental Experts on

International Information Security, that united representatives of 25 countries, studied the issues of application of international law to ICT-usage by the States, including norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviour of States.

Unfortunately, the group failed to reach consensus while preparing the final report. However, it should not halt the discussion on the key issues of the international information security or - even worse - be used as a pretext to devaluate the UN role and to switch to discussing the issues at the regional level or even on bilateral basis.

Without a doubt, such formats of cooperation constitute an important part of the architecture of the international information security. However, global issues, that involve the interests of almost all countries of the world, should be discussed systematically only under the aegis of the United Nations.

The rules of responsible behaviour should lay the groundwork for the mechanism of their implementation. We believe that it is necessary to continue this work finalizing it by jointly adopting the rules in the form of the UN General Assembly resolution.

One of the basic tools for ensuring international information security are confidence-building measures, adopted within the framework of the OSCE. Confidence-building measures are designed to reduce the risks of conflicts stemming from the use of information and communication technologies. We believe that the efficiency of this mechanism should be improved, thus strengthening the role of OSCE in settling information incidents.

Currently there is only one platform for discussion of the ICT security- related issues in the Organisation. This is the Informal Working Group, established by the OSCE Permanent Council Decision 1039.

We believe that the following procedural factors hinder the efficiency of its work:

Firstly, the Group ranks as an informal one, what significantly reduces its political authority.

Secondly, the Group lacks a clear working procedure. It meets on the initiative of the Chairperson on the irregular basis. Agenda of the Group's meeting includes a great number of items with not enough time to discuss them.

Thirdly, the Group's mandate is limited and does not include the aspects of ensuring ICT-security, which are considered by the OSCE Secretariat and other non-specialized structures. It narrows the scope of issues discussed in the interstate format and reduces the efficiency of the OSCE as such.

Moreover, the Informal Working Group has in fact exhausted its mandate after having finalized the development of the list of confidence-building measures to reduce the risks of conflicts stemming from the use of ICT and the adoption in 2016 of the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision 5/16 titled The OSCE Efforts Related to Reducing the Risks of Conflicts Stemming from the Use of ICT.

In 2016, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, at the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council presented The Peaceful Cyberplan for OSCE, taking into consideration constructive ideas earlier voiced by other member-states of the Organisation,

The Plan envisaged the following:

- consider strengthening the role of the OSCE in peaceful settlement of incidents in the field related to the ICT-use as well as in preventing conflict situations from developing into a full-fledged confrontation;

- hold under the auspices of the OSCE an inclusive international conference on the most acute issues of ensuring information security;

- grant an official status in the OSCE's framework to the Informal Working Group on Developing Confidence-building Measures in Information Space;

- consider and work through the issue of establishing a special subdivision within the OSCE Secretariat on the problems related to ensuring international information security.

Our proposal to this end is to start an OSCE discussion on improving the Organisation's efficiency in ensuring international information security as early as in 2018.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that the high level of holding this conference, its timely character and meaningfulness, as well as of the one held in Vienna in February 2017, both under the Austrian chairmanship, make it possible to say that one of the items of the above mentioned plan is already being implemented.

Thank you for your attention

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2938933




LATEST EVENTS

15.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the ties between “Bellingcat” and secret services

Question: Russian officials claim that “Bellingcat” is connected to intelligence agencies of the Western countries, but do not present any evidence of such ties. Doesn’t such approach contradict Russia’s position on the Salisbury incident, the MH-17 catastrophe and other notable cases, where the Russian government is continuously demanding to publish proofs of accusations? Answer: There is no contradiction. The fact that “Bellingcat” is affiliated to the intelligence services is obvious considering the whole range of relevant circumstances: date of its foundation (several days prior to the MH-17 catastrophe), nature of published information (which combines signs of intelligence data and highly professional fakes), its orientation (always anti-Russian), timeline of publications (each time at the best moment from the point of view of interests of NATO countries), biography of its leader (Elliot Higgins suddenly turned from a PC gamer into an “icon of independent journalism), non-transparency of its internal structure and financing. If “Bellingcat” can provide any other plausible explanation for such combination of facts, it should be presented to the public.


15.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the British government calls to step up anti-Russian sanctions

Question: How would you comment on the news that the British government has been lobbying a new EU sanctions regime against Russian nationals allegedly involved in use of chemical weapons and cyber-attacks in Europe? Answer: We have taken note of the respective statement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt of 14 October and the relevant media reports. These suggest that, faced with an imminent Brexit, the British government makes every effort to step up the sanctions pressure on Russia and to complicate as much as possible Russia-EU relations after Brexit.


13.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the investigation of the death of Nikolay Glushkov

Q.: 12 October marks seven months since the death of Nikolay Glushkov. Does the Embassy have any new information on this case? A.: Unfortunately, once again we have to state that the British side continues to evade any sort of cooperation with Russia with regard to the investigation of the death of former Deputy Director General of “Aeroflot” Mr Glushkov that occurred on British soil on 12 March. The British authorities continue to ignore numerous Russian requests, including the official request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for legal assistance in the criminal case opened in Russia into the Nikolay Glushkov’s death. There are no answers to the Embassy’s proposals to arrange a meeting or consultations between the Investigative Committee, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation experts and the Metropolitan Police representatives.


12.10.2018 - Ambassador Yakovenko’s introductory remarks at the press-conference on 12 October 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, In recent weeks we have received a number of media requests concerning the current state of bilateral affairs between Russia and the United Kingdom. I am also often asked how numerous anti-Russian statements by the British officials influence our approach towards the UK. Considering this, I have decided to invite you today to make respective short comments on these issues and answer your additional questions. Currently the relations between Russia and the UK are at a very low level. The reason for that lies in an aggressive anti-Ru ssian campaign launched by the current Tory government and supported by the British media.


09.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the new Bellingcat’s investigation

Question: How would you comment on Bellingcat’s claims that it has “tracked down Alexander Petrov’s real identity”? Answer: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has recently advised us to consider such publications and statements as a display of freedom of public debate into which the UK Government does not interfere. There have already been reports that the Home Office and Metropolitan Police would not comment on these “speculations”. This is exactly the case when we should follow the example of our British colleagues.


08.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the UK authorities’ reaction to Russia’s official requests following recent flagrant media publications

Question: The Embassy declared its intent to request clarifications from the British side following the recent accusations of cyberattacks, and the media reports on preparations for retaliatory cyberstrikes against targets in Russia. Has there been any response? Answer: Today we have received a reply from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which implies that, as before, the British side is not going to provide us with any details that may serve as the basis of the accusations. In this case, we are not in a position to make comments on the essence of those accusations.


05.10.2018 - Embassy comment on another groundless British accusation against Russia

On 4 October, UK Permanent Representative to OPCW Peter Wilson speaking on behalf of Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan claimed that the “GRU” allegedly “attempted to compromise UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office computer systems via a spear phishing attack” and “targeted computers of the UK Defence and Science Technology Laboratory”. The same day the UK National Cyber Security Centre stated that “multiple email accounts belonging to a small UK-based TV station were accessed and content stolen” and “the GRU was almost certainly responsible”.Today, the Embassy has forwarded a Note Verbale to the FCO demanding that the UK Government produces and immediately shares with the Russian side hard evidence and proofs supporting those claims, and informs about sources used to draw such conclusions. We have reminded, in particular, that Russia had repeatedly proposed expert consultations on cybersecurity in order to address UK’s concerns, if any.


04.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the BBC journalist Mark Urban’s book on Sergei Skripal

Q.: How would you comment on the Mark Urban’s book on Sergei Skripal published on 4 October? A.: We intend yet to study this book. At the same time, it is a well known fact that Mark Urban has close links with British secret services. This gives us grounds for considering this book as an attempt to compensate for Sergei Skripal’s public non-appearance as the key witness to the Salisbury incident. Instead of facts, the public is again offered speculation and guesses.


04.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the recent anti-Russian statement by the Foreign Office

Question: How would you comment on today’s statement by the Foreign Office accusing Russia of worldwide cyber-attacks on massive scale? Answer: This statement is reckless. It has become a tradition for such claims to lack any evidence. It is yet another element of the anti-Russian campaign by the UK Government.


03.10.2018 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question on INF Treaty

Question: How would you comment on the latest statements by US officials on Russia’s alleged non-compliance with INF Treaty? Answer: Russia has repeatedly reaffirmed its commitment to the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF Treaty). The US allegations of Russian non-compliance relate to one particular missile type. While we have assured Washington on multiple occasions that the mentioned missile does not violate INF, the US has never explained the exact reasons of their preoccupation. These allegations divert attention from the American actions that are breaching a number of INF provisions.



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