Moscow has long been suggesting to Washington to establish a direct dialogue on cybersecurity issues, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in a commentary that was published on the official website of the Russian Embassy in Washington on Thursday.
"We've been suggesting to the U.S. side to establish a direct dialogue on cybersecurity issues, reach an accord on a joint response to the corresponding threats," Antonov said. "However, Washington deliberately ignores this idea, preferring to label Russia as 'a cybercriminal'. Such rhetoric clearly does not help stabilization of bilateral relations," TASS quoted him as saying.
"The U.S. officials again made groundless accusations against the Russian Government. Allegedly stating that sanctioned 'hacker groups' and their associates provided direct assistance to our authorities' 'malicious cyber effort'. However, no proof was provided to support the allegations. Such practice became common to our partners," Antonov said.
Earlier on Thursday, the US Department of the Treasury announced sanctions against Russian nationals Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev, who were indicted for conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, and bank fraud as part of the Evil Corp hacker group. The sanctions list also includes 15 other individuals, most of them citizens of Russia. Several Russian businesses were also sanctioned over their alleged involvement with Russian national Denis Gusev.