Biden says he is open to swapping cybercriminals with Putin

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“I was told as I was flying here, that said that,” Biden added. “I think that is potentially a good sign of progress.” Recommended An increasing number of audacious ransomware attacks has paralysed companies in recent weeks. These have included the disruption of the Colonial Pipeline, which provides petroleum supplies for much of the US east coast, as well as operations at JBS, the Brazilian meat processing company. The White House has said it believes both attacks originated in Russia.

“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.” Earlier on Sunday, Russian state TV aired an interview with Putin in which the Russian president said that Moscow and Washington must “assume equal commitments”.

Asked about Putin’s comments, Biden said: “Yes, I am open to, if there are crimes committed against Russia, that in fact are people committing those crimes are being harboured in the United States, I am committed to holding them accountable.” Speaking at the conclusion of a meeting of G7 leaders in the UK on Sunday, Biden told reporters he was receptive to Putin’s suggestion of reciprocal extradition of cybercriminals responsible for disruptive ransomware attacks.

Putin told NewsNews in an interview that aired on Friday that relations between the US and Russia were at their “lowest point in recent years”. Biden on Sunday said that he agreed with the characterisation, but also pointed out areas where he believed the two countries could work together. The White House confirmed on Saturday that Biden would hold a solo press conference following the summit with Putin, rather than share a stage as his predecessor Donald Trump did with the Russian president in Helsinki in 2018. “This is not about exchanges or swaps or anything like that.”

“What he was saying was that if Vladimir Putin wants to come and say I am prepared to make sure that cyber criminals are held accountable, Joe Biden is perfectly willing to show up and say cyber criminals can be held accountable in America, because they already are. That is what we do,” Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One en route to the Nato summit in Brussels, the second leg of Biden’s first foreign tour as president. Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, later clarified that Biden had not signed up to a “prisoner swap”.

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