US & UK Blame Russia for Global Cyber Attacks on Governments, Businesses

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"The EU calls upon all countries, notably Russian Federation and Iran, to use their influence to prevent any further use of chemical weapons, notably by the Syrian regime", the EU said in comments to a meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog, seen by Reuters.

"The activity highlighted today is part of a repeated pattern of disruptive and harmful malicious cyber action carried out by the Russian government", Marshall said Monday.

The United States and European allies had discussed a sanctions package in the build up to last week's strikes against targets in Syria, with the American measures said to be further along in the planning process than Europe - where consensus among member states is needed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the claims, telling the BBC "I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site".

On Monday the OPCW's Ahmet Uzumcu said that its team had not yet been deployed to Douma - despite originally intending to arrive over the weekend.

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Earlier, Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russian Federation and the Syrian government of preventing the global watchdog's inspectors from reaching Douma.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call that London and Washington had not presented any evidence.

Last week, at the NCSC's CyberUK conference in Manchester, GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming said GCHQ has monitored and countered the growing cyber threat the Russian Federation poses to the United Kingdom and its allies for more than two decades. Inspectors from the aforesaid organization must inspect the area of Duma, in the region of Eastern Ghouta, where the organization White Helmets said that on April 8 there was an attack with chlorine or sarin.

"But it was the world saying that we have had enough of the use of chemical weapons, the erosion of that taboo that has been in place for 100 years has gone too far under Bashar Assad", he said. The new punitive steps will reportedly be in response to Russia's alleged "aggressive actions" in Syria.

The organisation, which needs a two-thirds majority to take decisions, has been undermined by political divisions over the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.

However, the inspection comes after the United States, France and the United Kingdom attacked Syria with the announced objective of destroying facilities that produce chemical weapons, for which they used the alleged incident in Duma as a pretext.

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