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Belgium expels dozens of Russian spies in recent months

Tuesday, 5 March 2024, 09:15
Belgium expels dozens of Russian spies in recent months
The flag of the Kingdom of Belgium. Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In recent months, Belgium has expelled dozens of so-called Russian diplomats who were clearly spies.

Source: Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on RTL, quoted by The Brussels Times  

Details: When asked whether Belgium should fear Russia's attempts to destabilise democracy, De Croo said that these attempts are already underway.

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"Belgium has deported dozens of so-called Russian diplomats from the country in recent months. Were they spies? Clearly, yes," he said.

De Croo also said that Russia is attacking Belgium in other ways as well.

"If we take a stand against Russia, we know that very often our websites become targets of cyber attacks in the following hours," he added.

Russia has also conducted numerous disinformation campaigns in Belgium. 

"For example, when the manhunt for Jürgen Conings [the former career soldier who made threats against virologists and the Belgian Government during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021] was happening, our security services had suspicions about organised disinformation campaigns at delicate moments," De Croo explained,

In April 2023, a study conducted by the newspaper De Tijd and its European partners showed that nowhere in Europe does Russia have as much satellite communications equipment used to transmit confidential information to Russia as at its embassy in Belgium.

Background: German media suggested that Kirill Logvinov, head of Russia's Mission to the EU, who is based in Brussels, is likely to be a spy under diplomatic cover. 

Earlier, a Swiss news outlet published information that Switzerland is likely to be home to a fifth of all Russian spies in Europe.

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