Rome re­sist­ing E.U. on cy­ber­at­tack sanc­tions

The Washington Post - - THE WORLD -

Italy is re­sist­ing a Euro­pean Union push to im­pose sanc­tions on states that carry out cy­ber­at­tacks, a move that ap­pears in line with Rome’s calls to de-es­ca­late ten­sions with Rus­sia but that could alien­ate it from its E.U. al­lies.

Diplo­mats said the sanc­tions plan is meant to strengthen E.U. de­fenses and de­ter­rence against cy­ber­at­tacks, in par­tic­u­lar from Rus­sia, which has been at the cen­ter of al­le­ga­tions of elec­tions med­dling in var­i­ous Western states in re­cent months as well as se­cu­rity breaches con­ducted through elec­tronic means.

But Italy has op­posed the idea of a new penalty regime, a con­fi­den­tial E.U. doc­u­ment seen by Reuters shows. The plan has broad sup­port among E.U. states ex­cept for Italy, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment.

Italy has re­peat­edly urged re­lax­ing sanc­tions against Rus­sia, which has been the tar­get of a range of E.U. penal­ties since the Ukraine cri­sis.

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