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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Putin denies Russia is behind cyberattacks forward of Biden summit

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In an unique interview with NBC’s “Right this moment,” Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia is waging cyber warfare in opposition to america and refused to ensure opposition chief Alexei Navalny — whose identify he wouldn’t say — will depart jail alive.

Why it issues: Cyberattacks by Russian intelligence and Russian-speaking felony teams, in addition to the Kremlin’s tried assassination and jailing of Navalny, are among the many matters President Biden is predicted to lift at his Geneva summit with Putin on Wednesday.

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Background: The Biden administration imposed sanctions on Russia in April for the large SolarWinds hack of federal companies and interference within the 2020 U.S. election, which U.S. intelligence assessed was personally ordered by Putin.

  • The U.S. has additionally sanctioned seven senior Russian officers for the poisoning and detention of Navalny, who is commonly described as “the person Putin fears most.”

  • In latest weeks, Russia has moved to designate Navalny’s political networks as terrorist organizations, successfully outlawing the nation’s most outstanding opposition faction.

  • Biden has condemned Russia’s conduct as “inconsistent with worldwide norms,” and each he and Putin agree that U.S.-Russia relations are at a “low level.” The White Home has mentioned Biden stays dedicated to assembly Putin on Wednesday “due to our international locations’ variations, not despite them.”

What they’re saying: “The place is the proof? The place is proof? It is changing into farcical,” Putin informed NBC’s Keir Simmons when requested if he’s “waging a cyber struggle in opposition to America.”

  • “We all know it effectively. Now we have been accused of every kind of issues: election interference, cyber assaults and so forth and so forth, and never as soon as, not one time, did they trouble to provide any sort of proof or proof. Simply unfounded accusations.”

  • “You realize, the only factor to do can be for us to take a seat down calmly and agree on joint work in cyber area,” he continued. “We’re keen to have interaction with worldwide members, together with america. You’re the ones who’ve refused to have interaction in joint work.”

Different highlights:

  • On Navalny: Putin denied that Russia is “outlawing dissent,” saying that he views the ban on Navalny’s political networks “fully in a different way.” Requested whether or not he might assure Navalny would depart jail alive, Putin mentioned: “The individual you have got talked about, the identical sort of measures will apply, not in any method worse to anyone else who occurs to be in jail.”

  • When Simmons replied that “his identify is Alexei Navalny,” Putin shook his head and responded: “I do not care. I do not care.”

  • On Individuals imprisoned in Russia: Putin mentioned he can be keen to think about a “prisoner swap” for the 2 former U.S. Marines, Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed, presently detained in Russia. The State Division has mentioned Russia is holding the 2 Individuals as “political pawns.”

  • On Biden’s declare he as soon as informed Putin he would not have a soul: “I don’t keep in mind this explicit a part of our dialog to be sincere with you,” Putin informed Simmons. “He in all probability has an excellent reminiscence.”

Go deeper: G7 leaders warn Russia on cyberattacks, chemical weapons utilization

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