The Netherlands accuses Russian ship of mapping energy infrastructure

The Netherlands accuses Russian ship of mapping energy infrastructure
Lely Offshore Wind Farm, viewed from Medemblik, Netherlands. Credit: Foto Fitti/Wikimedia Commons

A Russian ship is reported to have attempted to map Dutch wind farms in the North Sea in an apparent attempt to “disrupt” the energy infrastructure of the Netherlands, the head of the Dutch military intelligence service announced on Monday.

The Russian ship entered Dutch territorial waters “in recent months” before being “escorted by the Dutch coast guard and Navy” away from its territory, Jan Swillens, head of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD), told the press.

The Dutch accuse the Russian vessel of attempting to “figure out how the North Sea energy supply is organised, with the intention of disrupting it.” The spokesperson said that the attempt “did not succeed”, without giving more information.

The heads of the Dutch secret service, the AIVD, have assured that this incident was unrelated to the expulsion of its diplomats and closure of the commercial section of its embassy announced by the Netherlands on Saturday.

“Whatever the outcome of the war in Ukraine, Russia will most likely remain a threat to the Netherlands in the long term,” a Dutch intelligence report stated on Monday. “The Netherlands must take into account that the war in Ukraine and its consequences will probably last for a long time.”

Energy warfare has taken a more literal sense in recent years, with the mysterious destruction of a section of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline severing energy connections between Russia and Europe. Russia and the West mutually accuse each other of being behind an apparent sabotage attempt.

Related News

The Netherlands is largely independent from Russian energy. Before the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Netherlands imported just $357 million in natural gas from Russia.

An increasing amount of Dutch energy consumption now comes from renewables. In 2021, renewable energy accounted for 12% of total energy consumption in the Netherlands, with wind energy increasing by 36% compared to the year before.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.