Ten Russian diplomats were expelled from the Netherlands over the weekend. It is said that a Russian ship was discovered in the North Sea.
According to the Dutch military intelligence service MIVD, Russia has attempted to spy on and sabotage the country’s power system. A Russian vessel was discovered in the North Sea a few months ago while collecting information on wind farms, the MIVD announced on Monday in The Hague. These were “preparatory actions for riots and sabotage”, said MIVD director Jan Swillens.
The Coast Guard and Navy discovered the vessel in time and forced it to divert. The Russians are still “very interested” in North Sea infrastructure, Swillens said. According to MIVD information, this also involves internet cables and gas lines. That makes it clear that the threat to the Netherlands is more real than many realize, Swillens said.
Relations between Russia and the Netherlands have deteriorated sharply since the crash of passenger flight MH17 by a Russian anti-aircraft missile over eastern Ukraine in 2014. At that time, 298 people on board died, most of them Dutch. Over the weekend, the government in The Hague announced the expulsion of around ten Russian diplomats. It should also go into suspected spying.