National Security

US Official: Joint US-Russia Cyber Group A ‘Pipe Dream’

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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U.S.-Russian cooperation on cyber security issues is an unlikely proposition at this time, despite Russian claims, according to U.S. security and intelligence officials.

Any cooperation would be a “pipe dream” as long as Russia continues to deny hacking the U.S. presidential election, an official speaking on the condition of anonymity told Reuters on Thursday. The comments follow claims from a top Russian official that Washington and Moscow are currently engaged in talks to form a joint cyber security working group.

“The talks are underway … different proposals are being exchanged, nobody denies the necessity of holding the talks and of having such contacts,” said Andrew Krutskikh, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on cyber security, as reported by Russia’s RIA news agency on Thursday.

Svetlana Lukash, the deputy chief of Putin’s Presidential Experts’ Commission, claimed earlier this month that President Donald Trump spoke with Putin about discussions for a cyber security working group while attending the G20 summit in Hamburg, according to Reuters.

Trump’s top counter-terrorism advisor Tom Bossert had previously pushed back against claims that Russia and the U.S. are forming a partnership on cyber issues.

“A partnership suggests that you’ve reached a place where you believe that you have a trusted relationship and you’ve come to some common agreement on ideals and goals and behaviors,” Bossert told reporters Friday. “I don’t believe that the United States and Russia have come to that point yet in cyberspace. And until we do, we wouldn’t have the conversation about partnership. But we had to have a dialogue, and that’s where we’ll start.”

Trump claimed earlier in July that he had suggested creating a joint cyber security group, but later tempered his comments by saying “it can’t” happen.

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