| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

Russia Would be Ready to Hand Over Cyber Criminals to US if Washington Reciprocates, Putin Says

The summit between the two presidents is expected to take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 16 June, and it will be their first meeting since Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier this year. Regional conflicts in Syria and Libya, global security threats, and environmental issues are expected to be on the agenda.

The recent wave of ransomware attacks across the US may also be brought up during the talks, as the American authorities repeatedly claimed that some of the hackers behind them may reside in Russia. Commenting on the issue, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Moscow would be ready to hand over cyber criminals if Washington reciprocates.

“If we agree on the extradition of the criminals, then Russia, of course, will do it – but only if the other side (in this case, the United States) agrees to do the same and will extradite similar criminals to the Russian Federation”, he stressed.

The Russian President also stated that there is a range of global issues on which Moscow and Washington should cooperate, noting the sides need to restore direct contacts.

“Before high-level events, both sides are always trying to tone down some negative rhetoric in order to create an appropriate favourable environment for work. There is nothing special here, I would not delude myself with anything. This is a professional approach”, Putin noted in an interview.

At the same time, he said that the US decision to agree on extending the New START treaty was “a professional step”.

“The new administration led by President [Joe] Biden, firstly extended the New START treaty. I think this is a very important step … On the part of President Biden, this is a demonstration of professionalism, of course”, Putin stated.

Earlier this week, the White House confirmed media reports saying that Biden had decided to hold a separate press conference after the talks. Biden also expected to deliver “a strong message” to Putin, according to various reports, with Washington confirming that POTUS won’t be afraid to bring up “thorny” issues between the two countries during the meeting.