Dutch law enforcement has accused two Russian diplomats of spying for the country, Dutch Broadcasting Corporation reported.
According to the intelligence services, the Russian diplomats were, in fact, the members of the Foreign Intelligence Service and were engaged in gathering information in the field of high technology. Among other things, they collected data on artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and nanotechnology.
The Russian embassy in the Netherlands confirmed that two diplomats had been expelled for the “activities incompatible with their status.” They have two weeks to leave the Kingdom.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and the Minister of the Kingdom Kajsa Ollongren informed in her letter to the national parliament that the Russian ambassador was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands due to these accusations.
“Due to the detection of espionage, the Russian ambassador was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands on 9 December,” she wrote. During the meeting, the diplomat was informed about the declaring two embassy employees personae non-gratae.
In the letter, Ollongren also clarified that one of the Russian “diplomats” created a big network of sources who work or worked earlier in the Dutch high-tech sector.
“Most of these technologies can be used for both civilian and military purposes,” Ollongren says. In some cases, sources were paid for the provided data. The second embassy employee played a supporting role.