Following the first official accusation lobbed at Russia on Friday by the Department of Homeland Security and Director of National Intelligence on Election Security, in which US intelligence services formally stated they were “confident” that the Russian government “directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations”, today Russia responded to this latest diplomatic escalation by saying that U.S. accusations that Russia was responsible for cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations lack any proof and are an attempt by Washington to fan “unprecedented anti-Russian hysteria”, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said.
After late on Friday the Kremlin called the U.S. allegations “nonsense”, on Saturday Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, cited by Reuters, said on the ministry’s website that “this whipping up of emotions regarding ‘Russian hackers’ is used in the U.S. election campaign, and the current U.S. administration, taking part in this fight, is not averse to using dirty tricks.”
“There is no proof whatsoever for such grave accusations,” Ryabkov said. “(They are) …fabricated by those who are now serving an obvious political order in Washington, continuing to whip up unprecedented anti-Russian hysteria.”
Ryabkov reiterated an offer to Washington, first made last year, to hold consultations on fighting cyber crime together, but he also criticized John Kerry after the U.S. Secretary of State said late on Friday that Russian and Syrian actions in the Syrian civil war, including bombings of hospitals, “beg for” a war crimes investigation.
Such remarks are unacceptable and Moscow is disappointed to hear “new typically U.S. claims for being a global judge”, Ryabkov said in comments to Interfax news agency published on Saturday.
As Reuters adds, referring to a resolution on Syria proposed by France for debate at the United Security Council later on Saturday, he said: “Unfortunately, we see less and less common sense in the actions of Washington and Paris”. The draft resolution demands an end to air strikes and military flights over Aleppo. Moscow has already said this draft is unacceptable.
So with hopes of any joint Syrian action in tatters, and the US formally accusing Russia of being a state sponsor of cyber attacks against the US, with the chairman of the US senate cyber hacking subcommittee going so far as introducing a bill imposing sanctions on Russia after the political hacking allegations, which Russia has duly denied, the ball is now again in Obama’s court, where the next step is most likely to be even more diplomatic tensions, and military escalations.