Russia accuses Netherlands of spying on military official | News | DW | 17.08.2020

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Russia accuses Netherlands of spying on military official

The Kremlin has accused the Netherlands of spying on an aide to a Russian military attache in The Hague. The allegations came as Norway arrested a man for passing sensitive information to Russian intelligence.

Russia summoned the Dutch charge d'affaires in Moscow on Monday over allegations the Netherlands had been spying on a senior Russian military official.

In a statement, Russia's foreign ministry said it "strongly protested" to the Dutch diplomat after the discovery of surveillance equipment in the vehicle of an aide to a Russian military attache in the Netherlands.

"Such unfriendly actions complicate an already difficult bilateral relationship," the ministry said in a statement. It also called for immediate measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

Tensions between Russia and the Netherlands escalated in 2018 after a MH17 passenger flight was shot down over Ukraine. Most of the nearly 300 people aboard the aircraft were Dutch nationals. The Netherlands have taken Russia to European court over the incident.

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Man arrested over espionage

Meanwhile, Norway's PST security police said its agents arrested a Norwegian man suspected of giving sensitive material to a Russian intelligence officer.

The arrest took place at a restaurant in Norway's capital city of Oslo on Saturday during a meeting between the two, a PST spokesman told Reuters news agency.

"[The Norwegian suspect] was arrested in the presence of the intelligence officer," the spokesman said. 

The Norwegian man is suspected of "harming vital national interests," a charge which could carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

The man denies any wrongdoing, his lawyer, Marianne Darre-Naess, said following an arraignment hearing in Oslo. 

dv/dj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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