Putin calls for reset in cyber ties with U.S., no election meddling: Kremlin

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin takes part in a meeting with elected heads of Russian regions, via video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia September 24, 2020. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin called on Friday for an agreement between Russia and the United States to guarantee not to engage in cyber-meddling in each other’s elections and internal affairs, the Kremlin said.

In a statement ahead of the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3, Putin called for a reset between Russia and the United States and said he wanted an agreement between the two countries to prevent incidents in cyberspace.

Moscow’s relations with Washington are at post-Cold War lows as the election looms. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election with the aim of tilting it in Donald Trump’s favour, including by hacking into the campaign of his rival Hillary Clinton. Moscow denies that charge.

Trump is currently campaigning for re-election against Democrat Joe Biden.

“One of the main strategic challenges of our time is the risk of a large-scale confrontation in the digital sphere,” Putin said in the Kremlin statement.

“We would like to once again appeal to the United States with a proposal to approve a comprehensive program of practical measures to reset our relations in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT),” the Kremlin said.

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