Co-Chairs Tillis & Shaheen Issue Joint Statement in Response to Revelations of Russian Cyberattacks on U.S. Nuclear, Water and Electric Systems

March 16, 2018

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced that some U.S. nuclear, water and electric systems have been subject to Russian cyberattacks and could have been sabotaged:

“These attacks are a sobering reminder of the work that desperately needs to be done to bolster our nation’s cyber defenses,” said Tillis and Shaheen. “The Kremlin is launching a myriad of hybrid attacks to weaken and undermine Western nations, particularly NATO members, and the United States is no exception. Many frontline NATO nations have made great strides in improving their cyber defenses to withstand Putin’s aggression. Continued cooperation with NATO members will be integral to our efforts to protect the United States.”     

The re-established Observer Group has an expanded mission to closely monitor and inform Senators outside of national security committees about defense spending commitments of Alliance members, the process of upgrading military capabilities, the Alliance’s counter-terrorism capability, NATO enlargement and the ability of NATO member states to address non-conventional warfare. The Senate NATO Observer Group was first established over twenty years ago in 1997 by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) to serve as a connection between the Administration, NATO and the U.S. Senate. The Senate NATO Observer Group has been re-established since, in 2002, but was disbanded in 2007 due to a lack of NATO enlargement rounds.