Biden gives Putin a list of U.S. infrastructure off-limits to cyberattacks


President Biden said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Moscow must abide by international “rules of the road” and gave the Russian leader a list of 16 critical U.S. infrastructure systems that must be off-limits from cyber and ransomware attacks.

Calling their summit in Geneva a “good, positive” discussion, Mr. Biden said he told Mr. Putin that a variety of U.S. sectors must be protected from hackers, from electrical grids to water systems.

“We made it clear we were not going to allow this to go on,” the president said of the attacks that have been blamed on Russia’s foreign intelligence service and criminal hackers in the country.

Mr. Putin denied any involvement, saying at an earlier press conference that the cyberattacks were originating in North and South America.

“I told President Putin my agenda is not against Russia or anyone else. It’s for the American people,” Mr. Biden said.

On ending the ransomware attacks that have disrupted a U.S. gas pipeline and a major meat supplier, Mr. Biden said the test of his talks with Mr. Putin will be whether new attacks occur.

“It’s going to be real easy. Are they going to act? We’ll find out,” Mr. Biden said. “This is not about trust. This is about self-interest, and about verification of self-interest.”

He said he made clear to Mr. Putin “that we have significant cyber capability.”

He knows, he doesn’t know exactly what it is, but it is significant,” the president said. “If, in fact, they violate these basic norms, we will respond.”

“I think the last thing he wants now is a Cold War,” Mr. Biden said.

The two leaders did agree to hold talks aimed at renewing arms-control agreements. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is due to expire in 2026.

“We reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,” the two leaders said in a joint statement.

“Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.”

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