Space economy, security for the first time on the EU agenda. Borrel: "Theme that cannot be postponed"

The High Representative for Foreign Policy: "Space will be the new battlefield with the satellite war". Eyes on Ukraine after the massive cyber attack on government sites 14 Jan 2022 Nicola Desiderio

Security in space is for the first time on Europe's agenda and the goal is to formulate a common defense and security policy to be finalized by 2023. This was announced by Josep Borrel, the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union responding to a question received in Brest, France, on the occasion of a press conference held on the sidelines of the informal summit between the Defense Ministers of the EU member states. "Space will be the new battlefield with the satellite war, as will cybernetic space," said Borrell, stressing that the solicitation came from France, the current president of the European Union. "We will therefore discuss how to ensure security in space and satellites against threats" said the head of EU diplomacy, grappling with various situations that concern him closely, such as the crisis in Mali and the situation in Ukraine and Belarus for which Brest was also the scene of negotiations. And precisely starting from Moscow, Borrell explained why the issue of security in space can no longer be postponed. “Last November Russia destroyed one of its satellites by detonating a missile and as we speak there are 30 thousand satellites in orbit around the Earth. If one explodes, there is still debris in circulation which represents a danger to the other satellites. This action was truly irresponsible, we have criticized it and it demonstrates the vulnerability of space. For this - added Borrell - we have launched a European strategy on space security and defense, which will be completed next year ". Space therefore officially enters European foreign policy and represents the next priority after the definition of the Strategic Compass, the document intended to outline the European Union's Defense and Security policy. The definitive political green light for the Strategic Compass should arrive at the European Council in March followed by the implementation of all the necessary measures to implement the new policies. “The negotiation on the Strategic Compass is progressing well - continued Borrell - and consensus is being created on the proposal. There are some changes, but none of these questions the idea of a (military, ed.) Rapid intervention capability that remains part of the proposal and I am confident that it will be part of the final document. The events that are happening are a great incentive to develop this ability ”. Once the Strategic Compass has been finalized, the Commission will launch a European strategy for space security whose diplomatic bases among the EU member states have been placed precisely in Brest with a view to their finalization by 2023. Index of topics • The case of Ukraine • The attack on government sites in Ukraine The case of Ukraine At the end of the summit, Borrel addressed the issue of the cyber attack suffered by the Government of Ukraine. According to Borrel, "this action aims to destabilize Ukraine and increase escalation in an already tense situation. We are in contact with Kiev, which reacted quickly to the attack and partially restored the functioning of the government site. We are ready to give direct assistance if required. I immediately called an emergency meeting of our ambassadors in the format of the Political and Security Committee (PSC) to analyze the situation and consider support measures ”.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Minister for Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov announced that "a large part" of the Ukrainian government sites hit today by a hacker attack have been restored. The vice president of the State Service for Special Communications, Victor Zhora, said that no critical infrastructure was affected and that about 70 sites were affected, by national and regional governmental bodies. NATO has also announced that it will strengthen cooperation with Ukraine against cyberattacks after the vast hacker operation that has sent the official websites of Kiev into a tailspin. The secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, stressed that "Alliance experts in the country are supporting the Ukrainian authorities on the ground". "In the next few days - he added - NATO and Ukraine will sign an agreement on enhanced IT cooperation, including Ukrainian access to the Atlantic Alliance's malware information sharing platform". The attack on government sites in Ukraine Ukraine suffered a major cyber attack this morning that made yeses temporarily inaccessible to various ministries, including those of foreign affairs and the crisis unit. However, the government has assured that it has not suffered significant permanent damage. The European Union immediately condemned this act of sabotage which comes at a time of renewed tension on the borders with Russia. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, announced that all necessary means to help Kiev have been mobilized immediately. In the recent past, Ukraine and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Russian hacking teams of carrying out coordinated attacks on their strategic sites and infrastructure, a charge rejected by Moscow. Before the Ukrainian diplomacy website was made inaccessible, the attackers posted a message in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish on the ministry website calling on Ukrainian citizens to prepare for the worst by claiming that all personal data had been uploaded to the web. . However, the authorities denied any data theft and the Ukrainian intelligence services stated that the content of the sites was not changed and no personal data leaks occurred.