In Denmark, a citizen of the Russian Federation was charged with espionage and an attempt to obtain energy technologies for the Russian Federation, and a day later, an espionage scandal erupted in the Netherlands.
Perhaps the patience is already overflowing and Russian spies will have problems even in a country like Germany, where they don’t have any troubles at all. Well, if this happens in Germany, then something will have to be done with Russian spies in Ukraine, or at least with those who are in the highest echelons of power. Well, at least you could start with those who leaked the operation to arrest the terrorists from Wagner. Fortunately, there are not many of these people, and for good reason, “it would be necessary to accept everyone,” well, at least one, for bait, whom everyone already knows and who could not take off either the budenovka or the parachute.
But so far this is not the case – let’s return to the Netherlands. Today, two Russian diplomats were kicked out of there, who were caught trying to extract classified data from employees of enterprises working in the field of microelectronics, as well as artificial intelligence. At least this information is contained in a press release from the intelligence agency AIVD.
It is this incident that seems to have become the last straw that overflowed the patience of the local authorities, and as a result, the question of revising the state’s attitude towards foreign espionage was initiated. Today, there is practically no punishment for such activities, and it seems that the Russians have violated the old principle of “do not shit in the spy harbor.”
As Viktor Suvorov described it, in his “Aquarium”, soviet spies dug in the country where they had the maximum loyalty of the local authorities. In his case, it was Austria, and in order for the country to have all the comforts of such a “bay” where there are no storms, the spies there did not carry out active profile activities. How would an unspoken agreement be concluded: we do not touch you, and you play your spy games outside the territory of Austria.
This is not an isolated case. Switzerland and Portugal were such spy havens during World War II. Everyone knew about this and followed the unspoken rules of the game – they did not dig for local citizens and did not arrange “Chicago” on the streets of cities: Lisbon, Bern or Zurich. Well, the local authorities did not lean on counterintelligence issues and did not dry their heads about foreign agents. It was a very delicate balance based on gentlemanly conventions.
It is very likely that the Netherlands was one of those havens, since the legislation did not have tools that would severely punish such activities in principle. But it turned out to be the third scandal in three years, and as a spokesman for the Dutch special services, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Mi maєmo is a bitter in us, and he is a patient in us,” which translated from Flemish means: “You have to do something about this!” The first scandal was related to the wiretapping that the detained Russians arranged at the headquarters of the international agency for the control of chemical weapons, the second was the murder of three Russians who were involved in the case of the death of the plane of flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines and this is the third dirty incident.
Moreover, the government intends to radically change its attitude towards espionage and even to the type of espionage carried out by persons with diplomatic immunity. It is difficult to say how this may look in the end, since this immunity is provided by the corresponding convention, but the very fact of considering this issue after the scandal with Russian spy diplomats is indicative. After all, as you know, a long way begins with the first step.