Comment by the Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU on the Declaration by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Cyberattacks Attributed to Russia

Submitted on Fri, 10/01/2021 - 18:38

The Permanent Mission got acquainted with the Declaration by High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union published on 24 September 2021 regarding the issue of respect for EU democratic processes.

We find this statement rather puzzling. Russia is once again targeted with unfounded accusations of cyber-interference in electoral processes (without, as usual, providing any evidence whatsoever).

In this context, we would like to stress that back in April 2021 the Russian MFA gave its assessment of similar accusations voiced by German authorities regarding the "Russian trace" in cyberattacks carried out by a certain "Ghostwriter". Both then and now, we are underlining the openness of Russia’s position on computer incidents and our readiness to cooperate in their investigation. Therefore, we emphasise that in all cases when our partners assume that a computer incident is related to an information structure of the Russian Federation, they should contact the Russian National Computer Incident Response and Coordination Centre (NCIRCC), an authorised body for interaction with foreign authorities, international non-governmental organisations and foreign entities operating in the field of computer incident response.

In view of the above, we would like to remind the EU that as long ago as 11 November 2020 the Permanent Mission sent a Verbal Note to the European External Action Service suggesting that, should they deem it necessary, competent EU authorities contact the NCIRCC directly submitting relevant requests regarding specific computer incidents. However, our offer still remains without reply.