The AIVD has allegedly exposed two Russian diplomats. It was said to be two officers of Russian intelligence SVR. According to the AIVD, they made contact with individuals with access to sensitive information within the high-tech sector.
The AIVD says that the two Russian intelligence officers were accredited as diplomats at the Russian Embassy in The Hague. According to the Secret Service, one officer was involved in espionage in the fields of technology and science. The department says that this intelligence officer’s interest was focused on information on artificial intelligence, semiconductors and nanotechnology. Much of the technology would be useful in civil and military applications.
The second Russian, who according to the AIVD was exposed, played a supporting Role. Both persons have been declared ‘persona non grata’ by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This means in concrete terms that they must no longer be employed as diplomats in the Netherlands. Soon they will have to leave the country.
The AIVD says that the high-tech sector has high-quality and unique knowledge and that this espionage case’ very likely ‘has damaged the organisations in which the Russians’ sources are or were active. According to the service, this may also have caused damage to the Dutch economy or national security.
The AIVD has contacted the intelligence officer’s sources to disrupt their activities. The Secret Service has also in a number of cases issued an official notice ‘to the companies concerned and a higher education institution’, so that they could take action. One message was sent to the IND.
On the identity of the sources and the enterprises and educational establishment concerned, the service says not to make any announcements. Nor does the AIVD say how the two Russians got wind of it, what exact technologies the officers were interested in and how much they may or may not have found out.