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Biden warns Russia; cyberattacks on energy assets will be responded

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Joe Biden, U.S. president, warned its Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about cyberattacks during their Geneva summit June 16; Biden said that critical energy assets and other vital infrastructure should be off-limits to ransomware attacks.

Firstly, Putin denied any Russian involvement on the recent cyberattack to the Colonial Pipeline, which caused major disruptions in the U.S. and spiked gasoline prices after the line shut; due to severe gasoline scarcity.

Secondly, the Biden-Putin meeting was in fact the first one since Biden took office in mid-January, 2021. About the attacks, and according to an S&P Global report, Biden raised a hypothetical scenario of Florida; or Maine-based cyber criminals targeting the pipelines from Russia’s oil fields; which are Russia’s “single lifeline to their economy.”

Thirdly, during a press conference with American reporters, Biden said. “I pointed out to him we have significant cyber capability, and he knows it. He doesn’t know exactly what it is but it’s significant. If in fact they violate these basic norms, we will respond.”

Moreover, on a separate press conference, Putin said to reporters that “Russia provides all information on requests from the United States about cyberattacks; but does not receive answers itself.”

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Biden and Putin signed just one document

In addition, Putin remarked that Russia’s participation on cyberattacks to America; and specifically, to the one which shut the Colonial Pipeline, was out of the question. “We have to put aside any insinuations,” Putin said; quoted by S&P. “We know about the cyberattack on the American pipeline… but what does Russia has to do with it?”

Furthermore, according to the FBI, it was in fact a Russian cybercriminal group called DarkSide the one who attacked Colonial Pipeline. Nevertheless, Russia and US agreed to start consultations on cyber security.

According to the report, during the summit, Biden and Putin signed just one document, on strategic stability, trade, regional security and cooperation in the Arctic. Biden said Putin agreed to help on the issue of making sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.

Finally, neither president mentioned the ongoing Vienna talks aimed at restarting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; and also removing US oil sanctions on Tehran. On the Arctic, Putin said US concerns about Russian militarization in the region were out of basis.

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