Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that his country and the United States have agreed to begin “consultations” on cybersecurity following his summit with President Joe Biden.

“Regarding cybersecurity, we have agreed to start consultations on this issue, and I think it is extremely important. And obviously both sides have to assume certain obligations there,” Putin told reporters. after the meeting with Biden in Geneva.

Putin did not provide details on what such talks would involve, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Biden was due to give his own press conference after Putin’s briefing.

Hot topic: Cyber ​​security was one of the main topics of discussion between the two former Cold War opponents following the massive SolarWinds breach that the United States and its allies attributed to Russia and a series of attacks of ransomware against critical industries by Russian-based criminal networks. .

Charge: Putin said Washington and other Western countries are responsible for most of the cyberattacks against Russia. He claimed that the Kremlin sent 45 requests for digital attacks to “relevant bodies” in the United States last year, compared to ten such requests from the United States. He did not specify where these numbers came from or what incidents they were.

“So in terms of volume and frequency, we need to address this in a consultative process. We think cyberspace is extremely important in general, and in particular for the United States and, to the same extent, for Russia. “Putin said.

He went on to refer to the attack on the Colonial Pipeline – which was blamed on a Russian ransomware gang – claiming that his country experiences such incidents “every year” and that “one of the health systems in a very important part of Russia was attacked. “

“This means that this work is coordinated in the United States. I don’t think the United States administration is particularly interested in organizing or reviewing them. All they do is make innuendos,” Putin said. . “What we need are expert consultations between us. We have accepted this in principle, and Russia is ready for it.”

Biden’s goals: Ahead of the summit, Biden had said Russia must take responsibility for cybercriminals who launch attacks from within its borders and said he would raise this issue with Putin, without providing details of what actions he would take. .

An international push: Last week, Russia and the United States joined more than 20 other countries in agreeing that states should not harbor cybercriminals or be involved in hacking into another country’s critical infrastructure during peacetime. Russia, however, has repeatedly violated such agreements in the past.

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