The head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution also warned of the increased risk of sabotage.
The head of Germany’s internal intelligence service has claimed responsibility for the attack, at least during the Cold War. He downplayed the growing level of espionage and the bitterness of relations between the West and Russia over the Ukraine conflict.
Thomas Haldenwang, president of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV), issued the warning at a conference in Berlin on Thursday.
According to local media, the official said that “Today, we consider the level of espionage against Germany to be at least equivalent to that of the Cold War – if not significantly higher.“
Haldenwang also spoke of the growing risk of sabotage in the country, as relations between Berlin and Moscow have deteriorated dramatically since Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine.
The BFV chief predicted that “In a world of open hostility and strict sanctions, sanctions for espionage, sabotage and illicit influence will continue to fall.According to Germany’s Tagspigel newspaper, Haldenwang claims that there is a new “System competition“Emerging between democracy and authoritarian states.
Allegations that Russian intelligence is working in GermanyVarious influential actors, including think tanks or journalists in addition to intelligence agents,The official said.
Echoing Haldenwang’s assessment, German Interior Minister Nancy Fasser also warned that “The threat to our security through new wars in Europe is real.According to the report, he said that Germany was also involved in espionage and cyber attacks.Influences the propaganda of foreign powers, whose purpose is to destabilize our democracy through propaganda, lies and targeted delusions.“
In early April, Germany expelled 40 Russian diplomats on suspicion of involvement with Russia’s spy agency. Other European countries have opened the door to Russian diplomats on similar pretexts since the Kremlin launched a military operation against Ukraine in late February.
Moscow has repeatedly denied using its embassies as a front for espionage activities, and has responded by expelling Western diplomats.
Also in April, German media reported that an officer in the German army reserve had been charged with spying for Russia. Between 2014 and 2020, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office charged a man named Ralph G. with passing information to Russian intelligence.
The man told his Russian handlers “Personal information of senior members of Bundeswehr”As well as from the business world.
According to prosecutors, “In return for his services, the defendants received invitations to events organized by Russian government agencies.“
Another case of suspected Russian espionage in Germany made headlines in mid-February, with the Federal Prosecutor’s Office bringing charges of espionage against a suspect named Ilnur N. The man, of Russian descent, was working at the Augsburg Innovation Park in Bavaria, which is home. The German aerospace center, and allegedly shared sensitive information with its Russian handlers about new equipment made for space travel.