A Dutch intelligence company mentioned Thursday that it has uncovered two Russian spies who have been focusing on the Netherlands’ science and expertise sector, a transfer prone to additional pressure tense relations between the 2 nations.
The Normal Intelligence and Safety Service, identified by its Dutch acronym AIVD, mentioned the brokers labored on the Russian embassy and had diplomatic accreditation. Each have been declared “persona non grata” by the overseas ministry which means they will not work as diplomats and should go away the nation.
“We defend our nation’s strategic pursuits by gathering intelligence and utilizing that data to reveal espionage,” mentioned AIVD Director Normal Erik Akerboom. “That means we are able to disrupt these espionage makes an attempt, as we’ve got accomplished right here.”
The senior spy was looking for data on synthetic intelligence, semiconductors, and nanotechnology, the AIVD mentioned. “This expertise has civil in addition to army purposes, together with in weapons programs,” it added.
The company mentioned that the officers each labored for Russia’s civil intelligence company often called SVR. One in all them constructed a community of sources who work or used to work within the high-tech sector within the Netherlands, the AIVD mentioned, the second agent “performed a supporting position.”
“A few of these people obtained cost from the intelligence officer in change for data,” the company mentioned.
The Russian embassy in The Hague didn’t instantly reply to a cellphone name and textual content message looking for touch upon Thursday’s announcement.
Dutch-Russian relations have been underneath extreme pressure for years. The 2 nations have lengthy been at odds over the investigation into the downing in 2014 of Malaysia Airways Flight 17 over conflict-ravaged jap Ukraine.
The Netherlands has mentioned it holds Russia legally accountable for the downing, which killed all 298 passengers and crew on the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight. Prosecutors say the passenger jet was shot down with a Buk missile that was transported into Ukraine from a Russian army base. Moscow has at all times denied involvement.
In 2018, the Dutch authorities additionally accused Russia’s army intelligence unit of tried cybercrimes focusing on the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog and the investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airways aircraft.
The Dutch announcement got here only a day after Danish prosecutors mentioned a Russian citizen residing in Denmark had been charged with espionage for allegedly having offered details about Danish power expertise, amongst different issues, to an unnamed Russian intelligence service.