Dutch intelligence agencies claimed that two Russians who were diplomats in the Netherlands would be expelled, accusing their real identities as “targeting high-tech industries” and working for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Agency (SVR).
The Russian side said that these allegations were “baseless” and the expulsion decision was a “provocation”.
Dutch officials said on December 10 that the two deported Russians worked as diplomats at the Russian Embassy in The Hague in the Netherlands, but they targeted the high-tech industry in the Netherlands and established a “huge intelligence network”, which is now considered “undesirable people”.
The Netherlands expelled two Russian diplomats on the grounds of “stealing technology
You must leave the Netherlands immediately.
The Dutch General Intelligence and Security (AIVD) said in a statement that both men are part of a “large spy network” that has been “recently cracked”. One of them “established a huge intelligence network, and these spies have always been active in the high-tech field of the Netherlands”.
The statement also pointed out that the targets of these spies are companies involved in artificial intelligence, semiconductors and nanotechnology. The British media particularly emphasized that nanotechnology can be used in the military field.
Shortly after the Dutch intelligence service issued a statement, Dutch Home Secretary Cassia Olangren said that the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands had been summoned.
Russia: There is no basis.
Olangren also said that the cracked spy network may have caused damage to companies or organizations that originated intelligence, and even to the economy and national security of the Netherlands.
Leonidslutsky, chairman of the Russian Council on International Affairs, told reporters that Moscow would be “forced to take reciprocal action”. According to the BBC citing the International Telegraph, Slutsky said: “I believe we will respond appropriately in time.”
British media pointed out that the day before the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Agency issued the statement, the Amsterdam-based European Drug Administration (EMA) claimed that it had been attacked by cyber attacks, but there was no indication that the two incidents were related.
In addition, this is not the first time that the Netherlands has expelled Russians suspected of spies.
In 2018, four Russians were also repatriated to Russia after being charged with attempting a cyberattack on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, the Netherlands.