The cabinet expels 17 Russian diplomats from the country. The General and Military Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD and MIVD) says that the employees were in reality spies. The Russian ambassador was summoned today by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform him about the decision.
The government writes this in a press statement.
Coordination with other countries
In the message, the cabinet says that the deportation has been decided because the group posed a threat to national security. The war in Ukraine and the attitude of Russia in general also play tricks. These situational circumstances make it undesirable for intelligence officers – another name for spies – to be active in our country.
What exactly the spies are suspected of, is left open to the government. She does say, however, that the decision was made in consultation with like-minded countries. Belgium announced today that 21 Russians are suspected of espionage. In Ireland, there are four Russians, in the Czech Republic one Russian. The United States, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Montenegro have already decided to expel Russian intelligence officers from the country.
The Russian intelligence officers have two weeks to leave the Netherlands.
Cabinet speaks of ‘increasing Russian assertiveness’
Speaking to the media, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra says that the Russians must leave our country “for the sake of Dutch security”. He speaks of a “greatly changed context, with the war in Ukraine and the increasing Russian assertiveness”.
Whether Russia will repay in the same way is difficult to say. The government does take that