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.
“Biden will directly and clearly tell Putin that if the ransomware attacks towards the U.S. continue, he’ll expect the U.S. to take action,” Blinken said after the U.S. has been the target of two recent cyberattacks at the Colonial Pipeline in May and at JBS Foods last week.
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.
“The U.S. would prefer a more stable relationship with Russia, but if Russia chooses to act aggressively and recklessly toward us or toward our allies or partners, we will respond. I can’t tell you whether I’m optimistic or not about the results. I don’t think we’re going to know after one meeting, but we’ll have some indications … We’re prepared either way,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
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.