The German authorities are prosecuting a man who reportedly passed on information about the parliament building to Russia. Suspect Jens F. is suspected of espionage.
The German suspect had access to maps of the Bundestag in Berlin through his work. He worked for a company that had to inspect electronic equipment there.
F. allegedly put digital files with information about the building on a data carrier. According to prosecutors, he handed it to an employee of the Russian embassy, who would also be active for military intelligence service GRU.
Russian embassy officials have also been associated with espionage in other European countries. For that reason, the Netherlands appointed two Russian diplomats at the end of last year. They are said to have engaged in espionage in the Dutch high-tech sector. Russia then decided to also dismiss two Dutch diplomats.
Tension between Germany and Russia because of Navalny
It is not the first time that Russian intelligence services have been linked to espionage in the Bundestag. This also happened after a cyber attack in 2015, when hackers were given access to parliament’s computer systems. A new spy ring could put further pressure on the relationship between Berlin and Moscow.
Germany and Russia are already at odds over the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. He underwent medical treatment in Berlin last year after being poisoned with a nerve agent in his home country. Russian authorities arrested Navalny when he returned to Moscow in January. Germany then demanded his immediate release.