Most recently, America, Canada and the United Kingdom have made loud statements, saying that Russian hackers are involved in attempts to break into the computers of laboratories that are developing a vaccine to fight COVID-19. These accusations were repeated by the head of the UK Foreign Office Dominic Raab.
The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers "almost certainly" operated as "part of Russian intelligence services".
Similar statements were made by the relevant services in Canada and the United States. There were also comments from analysts that behind the attack stands a well-known group of hackers in the West, Cozy Bear, allegedly closely associated with the Russian security services.
In Russia, all this information was categorically rejected. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "We do not have information about who could have hacked pharmaceutical companies and research centers in the UK. We can say one thing-Russia has nothing to do with these attempts”.
The head of the international Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma Leonid Slutsky was even more categorical in his reaction to the accusations against Moscow. “This is a complete nonsense. I am sorry, but I have no other words to describe these charges. In Russia, we have the most powerful virologists in the world. The vaccine that is being developed in our country is at the final stage of testing, it is purely Russian know-how”, said Slutsky.
A few days ago, the Russian Ambassador to London, Andrey Kelin, in a conversation with a BBC journalist again rejected accusations of hacking into the computers of pharmaceutical companies.
"I don't believe in this story at all, there is no sense in it», said Russian diplomat. At the same time, he confirmed that one of the Russian companies is already working with the largest pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca to start production of the Covid 19 vaccine.
Despite the harsh statements from London, they emphasize that the hacker attacks are unlikely to have caused any damage to the development of the vaccine.
It is noteworthy that along with claims about hacker attacks on computers of Imperial College in London and Oxford University, British officials are developing the idea of Russian interference in the parliamentary elections in 2019. In this case, as usual, no facts or evidence are provided.
Well-known phrases are once again being heard, Russia allegedly “almost certainly” tried to interfere in the British elections in 2019 and a criminal investigation has been opened into this "fact". However, the Kremlin has already advised London to study the experience of the United States in the investigation of "Russian meddling".
Andrey Kortunov, General Director of the Russian international Affairs Council, believes that “now Russia will be a suspect regardless of what evidence base British politicians have”. According to his conclusions, “it is very difficult to prove Moscow's innocence in this case, especially when there is a presumption of guilt, which we observe».
In the same conversation with the BBC, Russian Ambassador Kelin rejected the accusations of potential interference in the elections in Britain, stressing that "this makes no sense”. Russia, he said, is ready to interact with both Tory and Labour. Regardless of which of the two parties will be in power, «we will try to settle relations and to establish better relations than now”.
There is no doubt that this kind of propaganda stuffing into international relations carries destructive elements and will complicate the atmosphere in relations between Russia and the West. In Moscow, it seems, such a mood is perceived calmly and without hysteria.
The question is, will the Western world be able to overcome its fears, phobias and prejudices and offer a new agenda, instead of returning to confrontation and hostility? At a time when Europe and the rest of the world are looking for the best ways out of the gloom of the Covid 19 pandemic, it is better to look for means to cooperate and join forces, rather than engage in questionable investigations.