Shortly after President Joe Biden urged U.S. companies to make sure their digital doors are locked tight because of “evolving intelligence” that Russia is considering launching cyberattacks against critical infrastructure targets, the State Department said there “would be a high price to pay” if Moscow launched such an attack against the U.S.
Watch State Department spokesman Ned Price speak amid the ongoing crisis in the player above.
“We have had a number of opportunities to express in no uncertain terms to Russia the our concerns regarding its use and its behavior in cyberspace,” said State Department Spokesman Ned Price.
The federal government has been providing warnings to U.S. companies of the threats posed by Russian state hackers since long before the country invaded Ukraine last month.
In a statement, Biden said Russia could launch a cyberattack against U.S. targets as retaliation for “the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed” on Russia through sanctions.
With European Union countries accusing Russia’s military of committing war crimes in Ukraine, Price called on Russia to “allow genuine, safe passage,” so that civilians can leave cities and towns in Ukraine that are besieged by Russian forces.
He also accused Russia of violating its international obligations by refusing to allow U.S. consular visits to Americans who are being wrongfully detained in Russia such as WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner.
Price also commented on the status of negotiations with Iran regarding a return to compliance of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Iran’s supreme leader on Monday signaled support for Tehran’s nuclear negotiations to secure sanctions relief, a rare reference to the still-halted talks as world powers near a diplomatic turning point.
Price said no deal is imminent and the U.S. is prepared for whatever outcome takes place in the negotiations.
“President Biden has made a commitment that Iran, under his watch, will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon, and that commitment is as true and sturdy in a world in which we have a JCPOA, and one in which we don’t,” he said.