Russia is interested in forging bilateral agreements with the United States on how to co-exist and interact in cyberspace, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for International Cooperation in Information Security Andrei Krutskikh told the Kommersant daily.
"Russia is always open for dialogue on the pressing issue of cybersecurity with any partner, including the United States. This year, we noticed certain positive signals coming from the US side, with regard to its readiness to somehow start a dialogue with Russia irrespective of the domestic political situation. The newly appointed US Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan was among those who recently voiced ideas of this kind," the Russian diplomat said.
According to Krutskikh, Moscow welcomes this approach and calls upon its partners in Washington to "restore a normal, de-politicized dialogue on global information security between Russia and the United States."
"What we need is not attempting to change each other’s political views, but to sit at the negotiating table and agree on how we co-exist and interact in the information space. Issues on our present-day agenda are absolutely pressing, including confidence-building measures in cyberspace and efforts against cyber-terrorism and cyber-fraud," the high-ranking Russian diplomat said, TASS reports.
He went on to say that current Russian-US political tensions affect the broad international dialogue on cybersecurity. For example, certain members of the Russian delegation were unable to attend informal UN-backed consultations on international cybersecurity last December due to "United States’ harsh visa policy." "Some people just did not get the US visa in time," Krutskikh said.
According to the Russian diplomat, cyberspace needs generally accepted rules, because state-level abuse of certain technologies may lead to most devastating consequences, including a large-scale armed conflict.
"Everyone realizes that we need certain ‘traffic rules.’ There are no such rules for cyberspace so far, and everyone suffers from that," he said. "Some kind of technologies, if abused at the state level, may lead to a disaster and at worst even trigger the third world war."
According to Krutskikh, the issue of cyberspace regulations affects everyone and requires a broad international discussion.
"This issue affects all states regardless of their territory, population, military, technological and scientific potential. There is no disinterested country, and everyone must have the right to have their say," the Russian president’s special envoy said.
During a session of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) board, Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as important to reinforce Russia’s authority as a reliable international partner in information security, including by means of expanding cooperation with other states and organizations. "I am hoping that the National coordination center for computer incidents created in 2018 will tangibly contribute to these efforts," Putin added.