NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Russia to halt its “reckless” behavior amid a series of global cyberattacks blamed on Moscow, and said NATO allies stand united behind the UK and Dutch governments.
In a statement issued Thursday during a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg said “NATO allies stand in solidarity with the decision by the Dutch and British governments to call out Russia on its blatant attempts to undermine international law and institutions.”
He said that “Russia must stop its reckless pattern of behavior, including the use of force against its neighbors, attempted interference in election processes, and widespread disinformation campaigns.”
The 29 allies are discussing cybersecurity at talks in Brussels, with the US, Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands due to announce that they will provide offensive cyber-capabilities for use by NATO.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that the United States stands ready to help its NATO allies amid allegations that Russia's intelligence services launched a series of cyberattacks.
After talks with NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Mattis said: “We are ready today to provide cyber-support to our allies. That is now.”
He did not say if the offered capabilities would be used in response to British and Dutch claims that Russia's GRU attempted cyberattacks on the international chemical weapons watchdog and other targets.
Mattis backed their allegations, saying: “I’ve seen enough of the evidence to say the Dutch and the British are 100 percent accurate in who they've attributed this to.”
Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark also offered offensive cyber-capabilities to NATO.