The Netherlands Expels 17 Russian Diplomats for Alleged Spying

The Netherlands announced it will expel 17 Russian diplomats for allegedly spying for their home country.

Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said the Russian diplomats “are secretly active as intelligence officers.” The Foreign Minister, however, did not disclose further details about the activities of the 17 Russians.

The Dutch Foreign Ministry decided to take the action to eliminate the threats to the national security posed by the Russian diplomats.

“The intelligence threat against the Netherlands remains high and, in a broader sense, the current attitude of Russia makes the presence of these intelligence officers highly undesirable,” Hoekstra said.

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned and informed the ambassador of Russia about the expulsion and ordered the 17 Russian diplomats to leave the country in two weeks.

Reports said that countries including the United States, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Montenegro had also taken similar actions against Russian agents disguised as diplomats.

In 2020, the Netherlands also expelled two Russian diplomats accused of espionage.

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