Cybersecurity in Russian-U.S. Relations

Author data: 
Pasha Sharikov
Publication Date: 
April 2013

CISSM Policy Brief

A Holistic Approach to Cybersecurity Risk Management
Emerging Issues in Cooperative Security
Document Type: 
Conference Reports, Presentations and Other Documents

Threats to cyberspace and to information security are emerging as central elements of Russian-U.S. security relations. As much as U.S. officials have expressed concerns about Russian-sponsored cyber-activities, Russia is equally concerned about U.S. military intentions in the cyber domain. Differing definitions of what activities pose a threat complicates relations on this issue. While the United States is concerned primarily with threats to technology and economic well-being, Russia is also concerned about activities that threaten interference in Russian sovereign affairs. Russian concerns have been heightened by repeated U.S. rebuffs on draft U.N. resolutions to address some threats. U.S. and NATO pronouncements about the need for collective defense against cyberattacks have raised similar concerns. Ongoing Russian-U.S. cooperation at the highest level demonstrates that the states recognize the common interests at stake, but officials will have to work on a mutually beneficial basis to make any level of cooperation work.