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Russia's Energy Ministry Says Grid Is Safe, Despite Report on U.S. Cyberattacks

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Russian officials have said that the country’s energy infrastructure is safe, days after a New York Times article detailed U.S. cyberattacks on Russia’s electric grid.

Citing anonymous sources, the report published Saturday details escalating efforts by the U.S. to hack Russia’s power grid. The article said the U.S. strategy was enacted in response to reports of Russia hacking into American infrastructure, as well as a preventive measure against Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections.

Russia’s Energy Ministry told Interfax Monday that the country’s power grids have “a high level of protection” and that systemic efforts are underway to protect Russian technology and equipment from U.S. cyberattack.

“There are no serious concerns [of the U.S. disrupting Russia’s energy infrastructure],” Yevgeny Lifshitz, a member of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, later told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

“The country's power grid has the necessary security systems so that even the most unfavorable scenario would lead to only short-term interruptions.”

Russian observers have said that the reported cyberattacks represent an escalation that could further damage bilateral relations, while state-run television has described the attacks as a provocation.

Andrei Soldatov, a Russian journalist and security services expert, told The Moscow Times that the U.S. strategy  signals “a clear escalation.”

Ivan Danilov, a columnist at RIA Novosti, said that The New York Times reported “with commendable honesty and enthusiasm” but added that “they did not even bother with the thought that such actions [cyberattacks] represent a gross violation of international law.”

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