President Joe Biden’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, is about the recent cyberattacks on U.S. soil, said the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with “Axios on HBO” on Sunday, The Hill writes.
After the U.S. has been the target of two recent cyberattacks at the Colonial Pipeline in May and at JBS Foods last week, Blinken said that Biden will directly and clearly tell Putin that he can expect the U.S. to take action if the ransomware attacks towards the U.S. continue.
U.S. Secretary of State also said that the goal of the meeting is to have a more stable relationship between the two countries, suggesting that Washington and Moscow could enjoy an improvement in relations if Russia changes course.
He added that the U.S. would prefer a more stable relationship with Russia, but if Russia chooses to act aggressively and recklessly toward the U.S. or toward its allies or partners, the U.S. will respond.
Blinken’s comments come amid the latest claims by U.S. authorities and media of possible Russian involvement in cyberattacks with officials claiming that Russia-based actors are ‘likely’ responsible for a string of cyberattacks against private companies.
Russia has denied involvement in any cybercriminal activities and has proposed enhancing cybersecurity cooperation with the U.S. but its overtures were repeatedly rejected by the U.S. side. It has also clamed that U.S. authorities failed to provide any substantive evidence to back up its claims, but nonetheless have continued to use hacking incidents to sanction Russian companies and other entities.