International news agency Reuters is reporting that Italy is resisting a European Union push to impose sanctions on states who carry out cyberattacks, a move that appears in line with Rome’s calls to de-escalate tensions with Russia but that could alienate Italy from its EU allies.
Diplomats said the sanctions plan is meant to strengthen EU defenses and deterrence against cyberattacks, in particular from Russia, which has been in recent months at the center of allegations of elections meddling in various Western states as well as security breaches conducted through electronic means.
But Italy has opposed the idea of a new penalty regime, a confidential EU document seen by Reuters shows. The plan has broad support among EU states except for Italy, according to the document.
“Responding to large-scale cyberattacks from foreign actors, in particular when they are aimed at our elections, is vital,” EU Security Commissioner Julien King told Reuters, adding that sanctions should be considered “where appropriate”.
Britain, France, Estonia, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland called for the introduction of sanctions, the document shows.
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