Comment by the Embassy on the latest groundless British claims of Russia’s alleged involvement in cyberattacks

On 20 February, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab made an official statement, according to which “with the highest level of probability, the GRU carried out large-scale, disruptive cyber-attacks against a range of Georgian web hosting providers and resulted in websites being defaced, including sites belonging to the Georgian Government, courts, NGOs, media and businesses, and also interrupted the service of several national broadcasters”. It is emphasized that “the UK, Georgia and the international partners have exposed” this fact.

We should like to ask the British side to lay out the “facts” supporting their conclusion. If this refers to a notorious hack which displayed the image of a former Georgian President M.Saakashvili on various websites with the caption “I’ll be back”, this cannot be serious, to say the least. It does not make sense for any Russian Government body to advertize a person who singlehandedly wrecked our relations with Georgia. Russia did not and will not interfere in Georgian internal affairs.

We have repeatedly witnessed groundless accusations from the UK authorities – they all follow the same pattern, dressed up with “highly likely” as the main argument, and do not withstand closer scrutiny. It looks like, in the absence of proper arguments, the British political establishment is using the media to keep the image of a hostile Russia on life support.

Remarkably, high-level officials continue to express interest in a dialogue on pressing issues. It would seem that cybersecurity is one of those matters of mutual interest. Yet for now, instead of a responsible and meaningful political dialogue, the British side demonstrates “bunker mentality”, by resorting to awkward statements that have little to do with reality.

20 February 2020, 18:43