London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Putin set for crunch meeting with Biden as war fears erupt – Kremlin on standby

Security talks in preparation for a meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin have taken place. While no date for the encounter between the leaders has been set yet, the Kremlin has confirmed the two countries’ officials, Russia’s Nikolai Patrushev and the US’ Jake Sullivan, have discussed cybersecurity, Ukraine, and the refugee situation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the two security officials had a “high-level” conversation over the phone on Wednesday as part of preparations for a Putin-Biden summit. In the call, the Kremlin said Russia was not wagering any sort of “hybrid” conflict in Europe.

The news of the crunch meeting follows Wednesday’s warning by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) that a record number of cyber incidents in the UK — dominated by ransomware attacks originating from Russia — had been recorded over the last year.

Mr Biden already addressed cybersecurity with Putin earlier this year. After a phone call with the Russian president, he told the media: “I made it very clear to him that the United States expects when a ransomware operation is coming from his soil, even though it’s not sponsored by the state, we expect them to act if we give them enough information to act on who that is.”

Concerning the issue of Ukraine, which the two presidents are set to discuss, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday: “In recent weeks, we have seen large and unusual concentrations of Russian forces close to Ukraine’s borders.

“Any further provocation or aggressive actions by Russia would be of serious concern.”