Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the British Parliament Joint Committee’s on the National Security Strategy Report on Cyber Security

Question: How would you comment on the Report by the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy “Cyber Security of the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure” of 19 November, in which Russia was mentioned?

Answer: Recently, we have seen a whole series of insinuations to the effect that the United Kingdom has been facing cyberthreats from a number of states, including Russia. Such statements are reckless, provocative and unfounded. Unfortunately, this report is no exception, although the document, to be fair, states that “there is much, much more to the cyber security threat to the UK than just Russia”.

In this respect, it is worth recalling again that Russia has made multiple proposals to the United Kingdom on different levels to establish cooperation on cyberthreats. In December 2017 during the then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s visit to Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed to launch expert consultations on this matter in order to address UK’s concerns, if any. By the way, some Western countries have replied positively to a similar proposal. We are open for expert dialogue based on mutual respect on this issue, so important for the international community.

Unfortunately, what we see from the British side is only increased anti-Russian rhetoric. Moreover, while some time ago the idea of cyber attacks against Russia was suggested by journalists, now it is being actively exploited by high-ranking officials, including MPs.