Rus­sia slams US threats over cy­ber at­tacks

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Krem­lin has slammed Wash­ing­ton for its “un­prece­dented” threats against Moscow over an al­leged series of cy­ber at­tacks and vowed to re­spond.

Last week, Wash­ing­ton for­mally ac­cused the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment of try­ing to “in­ter­fere” in the 2016 White House race through cy­ber at­tacks on Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions.

And on Oc­to­ber 14, US Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den told NBC a “mes­sage” would be sent to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin over the al­leged hack­ing, with the chan­nel say­ing the CIA was pre­par­ing a re­tal­ia­tory cy­ber at­tack “de­signed to ha­rass and ‘em­bar­rass’ the Krem­lin lead­er­ship.”

Krem­lin spokesper­son Dmitry Peskov im­me­di­ately de­nounced Mr Bi­den’s re­marks, say­ing Moscow would take pre­cau­tions to safe­guard its in­ter­ests in the face of the in­creas­ing “un­pre­dictabil­ity and ag­gres­sive­ness of the United States”.

“The threats di­rected against Moscow and our lead­er­ship are un­prece­dented be­cause they are voiced at the level of the US vice pres­i­dent,” Mr Peskov was quoted as say­ing.

“To the back­drop of this ag­gres­sive, un­pre­dictable line, we must take mea­sures to pro­tect [our] in­ter­ests, to hedge risks.”

And Krem­lin aide Yuri Ushakov vowed Moscow would re­spond to any US cy­ber at­tacks, say­ing such threats were “bor­der­line in­so­lence”, the news agency said.

In the NBC in­ter­view, ex­cerpts of which were re­leased late on Oc­to­ber 14, Mr Bi­den said Wash­ing­ton would re­spond “at the time of our choos­ing and un­der the cir­cum­stances that have the great­est im­pact.”

Ear­lier this week Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov shrugged off the US al­le­ga­tions, telling CNN the hack­ing claims were “flat­ter­ing” but base­less, with not a “sin­gle fact” to prove it. – MUL­TI­PLE mis­siles were fired at three US war­ships in the Red Sea, though none was hit and there were no ca­su­al­ties, the US mil­i­tary said, amid ris­ing ten­sions with Yemen’s Huthi rebels.

A US de­fence of­fi­cial said the al­ter­ca­tion took place start­ing around 7:30pm GMT on Oc­to­ber 15. It was un­clear how many of the sur­faceto-sur­face mis­siles were fired at the USS Ma­son, USS Nitze and USS Ponce.

The USS Ma­son de­stroyer, which was sail­ing in in­ter­na­tional wa­ters off Yemen’s coast ear­lier this week, used un­spec­i­fied coun­ter­mea­sures against the in­com­ing mis­siles, the of­fi­cial said.

The at­tempted mis­sile strikes would be the most se­ri­ous es­ca­la­tion yet of Amer­ica’s in­volve­ment in a deadly civil war that has killed more than 6800 peo­ple, wounded more than 35,000 and dis­placed at least three mil­lion since a Saudi-led coali­tion launched mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions last year.

Of­fi­cials have stressed that Wash­ing­ton wants to avoid get­ting em­broiled in yet an­other war in an al­ready volatile re­gion where Amer­ica is to vary­ing de­grees wag­ing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

On Oc­to­ber 14, the US Navy launched five Tom­a­hawk cruise mis­siles at three mo­bile radar sites in Huthi-con­trolled ter­ri­tory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, after the Iran-backed rebels blasted rock­ets at the USS Ma­son twice in four days.

The mil­i­tary in­sists these moves are taken out of self-de­fence. The Huthis have de­nied con­duct­ing the at­tacks. –

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