22 Feb 2020 10:41

Russian embassy in U.S. comments on accusations of cyberattacks against Georgia

MOSCOW. Feb 22 (Interfax) - The Russian embassy in the United States said it is disappointed by the accusations against Russia of cyberattacks against Georgia, the embassy said on Saturday.

"Disappointed, but not surprised by yet another groundless accusations against Russia in connection with the alleged cyber-attack on Georgia in October 2019. It is regrettable that American diplomats, once famous for their high professionalism, are increasingly resorting to the methods of tabloid journalists in their work," the embassy said in a report posted on Facebook.

Under international law, accusations must be accompanied by evidence, the report said.

"Russia is ready for an expert dialogue on all pressing issues of the international agenda. Ensuring information security is among them. Unfortunately, colleagues are reluctant for substantive discussions, replacing professional diplomacy with 'megaphone" one,' the report said.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia told reporters in Tbilisi on Friday the cyberattack on government sites in late October had been carried out from Russia.

"On the basis of an investigation conducted jointly with our strategic partners we can say that the cyberattack was in fact carried out from Russia," Gakharia said.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry earlier accused the Russian General Staff of waging a large-scale cyberattack on Georgian websites in October 2019. "On October 28, 2019, Georgia saw a massive cyberattack on the web pages of the presidential office, the judicial system, city councils (sakrebulebi), various municipalities, government and business organizations, and media outlets," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vladimir Konstantinidi said.

Citing intelligence Georgia obtained owing to cooperation with its international partners, Konstantinidi said, "The said cyberattack was planned and accomplished by the main [intelligence] directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces."

Georgia condemns the Russian cyberattack, which goes against norms and principles of international law, infringes Georgia's sovereignty, and is targeted against its European and Euro-Atlantic integration and democratic development, Konstantinidi said.

U.S. and UK officials have condemned the cyberattack.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko, in turn, said that Russia had nothing to do with the cyberattacks on the Georgian government websites. "Russia has no relation to this. We have not interfered and are not going to interfere anywhere," Rudenko said in reply to a relevant question from Interfax.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier issued a statement saying that there were no indications and could be no indications of the involvement of Russian official structures in the cyberattacks on websites in Georgia.

"The absence of proof and the presence of political motives behind this clearly orchestrated false news story are obvious. There is not and there cannot be any evidence of Russian official structures' involvement in this harmful activity in Georgia's electronic networks," the ministry's information and press department said in a commentary, which was published on the ministry's website on Thursday.