Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed Friday a pact with American officials that guaranteed neither nation would interfere in the other's elections and domestic affairs just weeks before the November 3 presidential election in the United States.
Russia's non-interference proposal
According to a report by the VOA News, the Russian government released a statement where Putin underscored the "risk of large-scale confrontation in the digital sphere" and called for possible measures to enable both countries to "reboot the relations" in the field of information and communication security.
Putin's proposal comes amid reports from the U.S. intelligence that found Russian has been taking actions to influence the November elections. Cyber experts concluded in an earlier report that Moscow also interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov read out the Russian president's statement in a video released by the ministry. He is currently visiting military drills involving China and Iran in an area in southern Russia.
Western countries have previously accused Russia of hacking and hiring internet trolls to influence the upcoming elections.
Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp's intelligence unit accused Moscow of hiring hackers to target at least 200 different organizations with ties to the 2020 U.S. election, including political parties and consultants working for Republicans and Democrats.
In August, the American intelligence community accused Russia of undertaking a broad effort to disparage the former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's bid for the presidency, through various disinformation campaigns.
"We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia 'establishment," William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told lawmakers on August 7.
Evanina added there are a few Kremlin-linked parties who are supporting Trump's campaign by advertising on social media platforms and Russia state television, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft's threat intelligence team reported earlier this month that several Russian government hackers attacked more than 200 U.S. organizations that are linked to the November election. Some of the agencies hit include national and state political parties and consultants for Republicans and Democrats.
Some U.S. intelligence officials have stated that Moscow has actively been conducting interference activities to sow chaos during the 2020 presidential election. They have also noted that Russian-linked individuals are supporting Trump's campaign and candidacy.
According to The Moscow Times, Putin's statement called for cooperation between the United States and Russia by exchanging guarantees that neither will conduct interference schemes against the other's domestic affairs, including elections. The Russian president's proposal noted the particular use of information and communication technologies.
In his statement, Putin noted that one of the world's most significant challenges is the threat of a large-scale digital confrontation. He added that prevention lies in several critical players that must ensure international information security.
Putin's reason for proposing the agreement is to prevent cyberspace crimes. He compared the deal to the 1972 Soviet-American agreement that aimed to reduce the chances of an incident occurring.