- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Kremlin raised the possibility Tuesday of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and President Trump discussing cyberattacks on the sidelines of the upcoming G-20 summit.

Russian state media reported that Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it “cannot be ruled out” that the two leaders will touch on the topic if they hold an “on the go” meeting during the G-20 summit this month.

“We, I mean both financial organizations, mass media, agencies and critical infrastructure facilities have been targeted by these attacks over the past several years, which are carried out from various Western countries, including the United States,” Mr. Peskov said, TASS reported. “This is a big problem, and that’s why Putin has repeatedly offered Washington to cooperate in [the] cybersecurity sphere.”

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the Department of Defense has recently escalated its attacks on Russia’s power grid, and that at least two administration officials said that they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed on the efforts.

Reacting to the report earlier this week, Mr. Peskov said the apparent lack of presidential authorization suggests that “cyberwar against Russia might be a hypothetical possibility.”

Mr. Trump responded to the report by calling it a “virtual act of treason” and asking for the names of the newspaper’s sources.

World leaders including Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin are scheduled to take part in the G-20 summit on June 28 and 29 in Osaka, Japan. Mr. Trump said last week that he planned to meet with Mr. Putin, but Mr. Peskov said Monday that a full-fledged meeting has not yet been set.

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