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Espionage in the North Sea

Russia has been trying to gain information on critical infrastructure in the Dutch part of the North Sea in recent months, according to Dutch military intelligence agency MIVD, which fears acts of sabotage.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

General Jan Swillens, head of the Dutch military intelligence service MIVD reported about an incident with a Russian ship at a press conference. He said that a few months ago, a Russian ship was detected at an offshore wind farm in the North Sea while trying to scout the energy infrastructure. The ship was escorted out of the North Sea by Dutch Navy and Coast Guard vessels before a possible sabotage attempt could take place, DutchNews and others reported.

"We have seen in recent months how Russian actors have tried to expose the functioning of the energy system in the North Sea. This is the first time we have seen that," Swillens said. "Russia is mapping how our wind farms work in the North Sea. They are very interested in how they can sabotage energy infrastructure."

Critical offshore infrastructure includes internet cables, gas pipelines and wind turbines. "Russia is secretly recording this infrastructure and engaging in activities that indicate preparations for disruption and sabotage," the Dutch intelligence agencies MIVD and AIVD said in a joint report. The Netherlands responded by expelling Russian diplomats.

The report is likely to be of interest to other maritime countries such as Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom, whose infrastructure could also be targeted for acts of espionage or sabotage. Last year, four blasts destroyed Nord-Stream's two Baltic Sea pipelines. The West suspects Russia is behind the action.

Windfair Editors
espionage, North Sea, Netherlands, military, sabotage, wind farm, infrastructure, critical, vessel, Nord Stream

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