President Joe Biden signaled an openness to swapping cybercriminals with Russia ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
“Yes, I’m open to, if there’s crimes committed against Russia that, in fact, people committing those crimes are being harbored in the United States, I’m committed to holding them accountable. I was told as I was flying here that he said that. I think that’s potentially a good sign of progress,” Biden said at a post-G-7 summit press conference in the United Kingdom on Sunday.
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Putin had raised the possibility during an interview over the weekend.
“If we agree on the extradition of criminals, then Russia will naturally do that but only if the other side, in this case, the United States, agrees to the same and will also extradite corresponding criminals to the Russian Federation,” Putin said according to Russian news agency TASS.
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after attending the G-7 summit, Sunday, June 13, 2021, at Cornwall Airport in Newquay, England. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“In an overwhelming majority of cases, they are equitable. Both sides assume equal commitments,” he continued.
Biden is expected to raise the issue of Russia-based ransomware attacks with Putin during their summit, the White House said after critical infrastructure in the U.S. fell victim to another attack.
A recent ransomware assault shut down the U.S.-based meat plants of the world’s largest meatpacker, Brazil-based JBS. The White House said the hack was likely carried out by a criminal group based in Russia.
Pressed at the Sunday news conference on why Putin has not changed his behavior after waves of U.S. sanctions, Biden replied with a laugh. “He’s Vladimir Putin.”
Biden will hold a solo pre
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