Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser wants to take action against Russian spies. Her colleague Annalena Baerbock seems to back up her words with actions: she wants to expel 30 diplomats accredited in Berlin.
Photo: Annalena Baerbock. Source: AFP
This was reported by the German news agency Focus online.
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Feser (SPD) said in a recent interview that Germany is in a race against more and more attacks by Russian special services.
At the same time, the media outlet expresses the opinion that in this context, Foreign Minister Baerbock plans to expel more than 30 Russian diplomats accredited in Berlin.
According to the conclusions of the security authorities, Russian diplomats use their diplomatic immunity to illegally recruit German informants from the political, business, scientific, and military spheres to conduct espionage, sabotage, and disinformation operations.
It is alleged that Moscow’s intelligence services, located in the embassy in Berlin, as well as in several consulates, are now more heavily staffed than during the Cold War, and number about 160 officers.
Last April, Annalena Baerbock achieved the deportation of 40 exposed agents of the Russian secret services.
However, according to the news agency, there is no final decision on the expulsion of new diplomats.
The German government recognizes that the mass expulsion of agents will not be without consequences. “In response, the Kremlin will declare even more German diplomats persona non grata,” a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told FOCUS online.
The Foreign Ministry also did not comment on the details of the planned expulsion of more than 30 Moscow diplomats. This measure is not planned “at the moment,” the statement said.
At the same time, as noted earlier, German counterintelligence is having a hard time amid the exposure of the Russian spy network.
Would the hypothetical expulsion of Russian diplomats ease the situation with counterintelligence? Unfortunately, there is no answer to this question. However, at the diplomatic level, the expulsion of Russian diplomats against the backdrop of Putin’s nuclear blackmail and the issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court could be a great signal of Russia’s growing isolation for its actions in Ukraine.