Cybersecurity and international relations: The first scientific-practical international conference on cyber diplomacy took place in Kyiv

12:33, 22.05.2024

On May 15-16, Kyiv hosted the first scientific and practical international conference on cyber diplomacy. Organized with the support of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CRDF Global, and the US State Department, the event brought together experts, diplomats, and government representatives to discuss key issues of cybersecurity and its impact on the future of international relations. 

Ilona Khmeleva, Secretary of the Economic Security Council of Ukraine (ESCU), participated in the panel discussion titled "International Legal Agenda: Shaping Norms in Cyberspace." In her speech, she emphasized the severity of the cyber warfare unleashed by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. She clearly outlined the criminal nature of Russian cyber attacks, calling for clear attribution and comprehensive analysis of Russia's actions. 

Khmeleva urged the adaptation of international law to the modern realities of aggression. She asserted that accountability for war crimes must be inevitable, and sanctions must be effective. Having violated its obligations to the international community (erga omnes), Russia, as the aggressor, must pay, including through the confiscation of its sovereign assets. 

Cyberspace is an integral part of all security agreements and guarantees, and sanctions, which are already sufficiently synchronized, can serve as an example. 

According to Khmeleva, Ukraine can and should play an active role in shaping fair rules of behavior in cyberspace. Advocating for a new legal agenda and active participation in international discussions are key tasks for Ukrainian cyber diplomacy. 

The conference in Kyiv marked a significant step toward better understanding cyber challenges and developing new approaches to international relations in the digital age. Ukraine is making a substantial contribution to ensuring cybersecurity and protecting national interests.