Rus­sia hits back at US hack claims

Moscow ac­cused of elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

A top Rus­sian diplo­mat has lashed out at the United States over claims that Rus­sia is hack­ing po­lit­i­cal web­sites and email ac­counts in an at­tempt to in­flu­ence the Amer­i­can elec­tions.

Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Ryabkov said in a state­ment yes­ter­day that Wash­ing­ton’s ac­cu­sa­tions are an at­tempt to heat up an­tiRus­sian sen­ti­ment as the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion nears.

Ryabkov said the blunt ac­cu­sa­tion made on Fri­day by the Of­fice of the Direc­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence and the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity is not sup­ported by con­crete ev­i­dence and “our en­e­mies are con­tin­u­ing to blame Rus­sia for in­ter­fer­ence in US do­mes­tic mat­ters.”

“The su­per­charg­ing of emo­tions about Rus­sian hack­ers is be­ing used in the pre-elec­tion fight; the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion, tak­ing part in this fight, is not averse to dirty meth­ods,” he said.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is turn­ing up the rhetor­i­cal heat on Rus­sia, ac­cus­ing se­nior Rus­sian of­fi­cials of or­der­ing the hack­ing of Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal sites to try to in­ter­fere in the up­com­ing elec­tion and sug­gest­ing that Rus­sia’s mil­i­tary is com­mit­ting war crimes in Syria.

Fri­day’s bar­rage of al­le­ga­tions – cou­pled with an­gry de­nials from Moscow – marked a de­scent to yet an­other low point in in­creas­ingly poor re­la­tions be­tween the coun­tries, who are deeply di­vided over key in­ter­na­tional is­sues of war and peace. The hack­ing al­le­ga­tions, made pub­licly for the first time since cy­ber­at­tacks on the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee and the Demo­cratic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee ear­lier this year, came amid pres­sure on the ad­min­is­tra­tion to call Rus­sia out for the hack­ing, which has pro­duced the re­lease of em­bar­rass­ing in­ter­nal emails. “We be­lieve, based on the scope and sen­si­tiv­ity of th­ese ef­forts, that only Rus­sia’s se­nior­most of­fi­cials could have au­tho­rised th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties,” the Of­fice of the Direc­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence said in a joint state­ment with the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity. It said re­cent dis­clo­sures of al­leged hacked emails on web­sites like DCLeaks.com and Wik­iLeaks, and by the Guc­cifer 2.0 on­line per­sona, are con­sis­tent with the meth­ods and mo­ti­va­tions of ef­forts di­rected by Rus­sia, which has de­nied in­volve­ment. “Th­ese thefts and dis­clo­sures are in­tended to in­ter­fere with the US elec­tion process,” the state­ment said. “Such ac­tiv­ity is not new to Moscow. The Rus­sians have used sim­i­lar tac­tics and tech­niques across Europe and Eura­sia, to in­flu­ence pub­lic opin­ion there.” The White House de­clined to say whether the for­mal at­tri­bu­tion would trig­ger sanc­tions against Rus­sia or what the re­ac­tion would be.

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