Early this week NATO signed a new deal with Ukraine to boost cyber cooperation amid simmering tensions with Russia.
Ukraine and NATO first signed a technology-related agreement in 2015, and cooperation has increased over the years. The new deal aims to help Ukraine’s military modernize its information technology and communications services.
“The Memorandum signed today continues our cooperation established in 2015. With NATO’s support, we plan to further introduce modern information technologies and services into the command and control system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” said Natalia Galibarenko, Ukraine’s ambassador to NATO.
Last week, a cyberattack disabled some Ukrainian government websites. On Sunday, Ukraine blamed the incident on Russia, but Moscow denied responsibility and said it had "nothing to do with it. Military analysis news source Defense Post notes that "Western allies have warned that any land invasion could be presaged by a hacking attack designed to knock out key infrastructure in Ukraine."
"US software giant Microsoft warned Sunday that the cyberattack last week could prove destructive and affect more organizations than initially feared," the report adds.
Below: AFP infograph on extent of last week's hack
NATO-Ukraine cooperation angers Russia, and the new deal comes as Moscow is seeking guarantees that NATO won’t expand further eastward. The US and NATO have rejected Russia’s key demands, but the dialogue between the Western powers and Russia continues.