By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on Saturday that Russian and Turkish experts have discussed different aspects of the construction of a gas hub in Türkiye.
Speaking in an interview with the Russian state-run news agency TASS, Syromolotov named energy as "one of the most successful sectors of the Russian-Turkish cooperation," which is developing dynamically and is based on a mutually respectful dialogue.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a leader of "a different caliber" who pursues an independent policy which favors his own people and does not take dictation from third countries, the senior diplomat said.
He further said that with joint efforts the issues related to the construction of the gas hub will be resolved.
Turning to cybersecurity, Syromolotov claimed that the US issued some "NATO draft rules for waging a cyber war," and "is trying to adapt international law."
According to him, the US "actively recruits" hackers, trains Ukraine's "IT-army," engages information and communication potentials of its allies to attack Russia's IT infrastructure.
Washington also "increases capabilities for global espionage," despite being "caught" in using the Pegasus and Graphite spyware programs to hack personal communication devices and computers around the world.
Syromolotov added that in 2022 Russia faced "an unprecedented" number of external cyberattacks, in total, over 50,000. Most of them were carried out from the territory of the US, NATO countries and Ukraine, and targeted state structures.
The official voiced concern over the work of the Ukrainian information platforms under the guidance of Microsoft and Amazon IT giants.
He said the Recorded Future company, affiliated with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), signed an agreement with Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation. Kyiv joined NATO's center of cyber protection based in Estonia's capital Tallinn.
UK recruits Russian-speaking IT specialists and carries out trainings on hitting Russian objects of critical information infrastructure, he added.
"In particular, the defeat of state institutions in the Kaliningrad region and the Moscow power system is simulated. Systematic work is underway to promote Russophobia on the internet, to erase the truth about our country's foreign policy in the Western information field," he said.
Syromolotov also commented on the situation in Afghanistan, saying Daesh/ISIS strengthened its position there, profiting from the Taliban's incapability to oppose terrorists due to lack of finances.
He recalled that terrorists took responsibility for the most high-profile attacks, including the explosions near the Russian embassy, the Afghan Foreign Ministry and attempted murder of the head of the Pakistani diplomatic mission.
"We proceed from the assumption that Kabul will have the will to adhere to its obligations to prevent the spread of the terrorist threat from Afghan territory," he stressed, pointing out that Russia's Central Asia partners are under threat.
He also added that in such circumstances, Russia particularly values cooperation with China in the fight against terrorism.