Statement by H.E. Mr. Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the UNSC Arria-formula discussion on cybersecurity

Statement by H.E. Mr. Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, at the UNSC Arria-formula discussion on cybersecurity

As prepared

Mr. President,

I thank the delegations of Estonia, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Kenya for convening this important Arria formula meeting.

As we all know, since 2014 Ukraine has been facing the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation, which uses information and communication technologies as one of the methods of a hybrid war. We are the state where new cyber warfare is being tested by Russia against us and where a hybrid war one day made our nation re-think our national security strategy.

I would like to seize the opportunity to reaffirm our gratitude to our good friends, international partners, for being unwavering in your support to Ukraine and stand with us in the face of such outrageous aggression, which will not be tolerated.

Throughout 2019 relevant authorities of Ukraine detected and promptly reacted to over 1,5 thousand cyber incidents on the critical infrastructure facilities.

Moreover, other western states have also faced Russia’s hostile cyber behavior, and hold Kremlin responsible for destructive cyber-attacks with sophisticated new malware. We are aware, that using the information and communication technologies as a political tool, Russia is engaged in a range of cyber operations aimed at disinformation campaigns, intervention into sovereign election processes, cyber espionage and cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure facilities in a number of countries in Europe and beyond.

I would like to stress, that Ukraine, in fact being a testing ground for the use of cyber-tools for malicious purposes, has the unique practical experience in neutralizing cyberattacks that may be useful to partner countries. We continue to build national cybersecurity capacity, strengthen and enhance our legislation.

Such malicious activity is becoming especially challenging in the face of a lockdown we are all trapped in due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the light of the ongoing pandemic, countries all across the globe are reporting an increase in cybercrime, in particular in hospitals, medical laboratories and other critical infrastructure. That is why more attention to the cybersecurity is required from us today.

Thus, our unity is a key tool to make states which commit and finance cyber-attacks understand that obsolete Cold War methods, even patterned over contemporary computer technologies, will have due response.

We strongly advocate the bringing to justice of those who intentionally organize and carry out cyber-attacks. We believe that existing international law applies in cyberspace. We reiterate that the principle of prohibiting one state from attacking others applies here as it does elsewhere. Cyberspace is not different from other domains where international law is applied to state behaviour.

In this regard, we can’t but mention the large-scale cyber-attacks carried out by Russia on October 28, 2019 against state institutions, public, private and media sectors of Georgia. Ukraine together with a number of States expressed solidarity with Georgia in condemning Russia's actions. It is so illustrative that Russia has once again demonstrated its disrespect for the rules and principles of international law.

Ukraine firmly opposes any attempts undertaken by Russian Federation to conduct a “quasi-leading role” at the UN in promoting campaigns aimed to strengthen international information and cybersecurity. Being currently a State, which conducted proven targeted cyber-attacks against Ukrainian energy facilities and other objects of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, Russia should immediately stop using modern computer technologies with destabilization and crisis-creating purposes. Today we would like to call upon Russian authorities yet again to recover its consciousness and behave according to its obligations as a permanent member of the UNSC.

Many constructive decisions in the field of cybersecurity have been adopted within the framework of the UN, OSCE, EU and other international fora. In its turn, Ukraine, being a part to the UN has always been and remains uncompromising in readiness to contribute to the essential global efforts on promoting cyber stability and conflict prevention.

All international efforts made in this domain are simply in vain if there are no reliable mechanisms to detect, punish and bring to justice individuals and relevant States, responsible for coordinating and financing illicit activities in the global cyberspace.

Therefore, full-scale international cooperation in the field of cyber security protection becomes a vital instrument of our common resistance to this dangerous threat.

Concluding, I would like to mention that cyber security is a subject of universal and tremendous importance that will surely grow up.


We should consolidate our efforts to elaborate “rules of the game” with purpose of preventing any attempt to discredit such eminent achievement of the humanity as computer technologies.

I thank you.