Russia's Top Representative to EU Might Be a Spy

Tuesday, 24 October 2023

German media suggest that Kirill Logvinov, Head of the Russian delegation to the EU based in Brussels, is probably a spy under diplomatic cover.

Logvinov's case is part of a broader study by Espiomats journalists, which focuses on possible Russian spies in the EU who operate under diplomatic cover.

In addition to SPIEGEL, Belgian De Tijd, Swedish Expressen, Estonian Delfi, Lithuanian broadcaster LRT, Polish VSquare and Frontstory, the Dossier Center founded by emigrants from Russia and Slovak ICJK are working on this project.

48-year-old Kirill Logvinov has been accredited as a diplomat at the Russian Permanent Mission in Brussels since 2018. Since Russia's last ambassador to the EU left office about a year ago, Logvinov has become the de facto head of the mission.

In 2010-2014, he worked at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, then he was not suspected as a possible spy.

Journalists report that Belgian security agencies suspect Logvinov works for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

Belgium does not rule out that some other Russian employees of the representative office may also secretly work against the interests of the European Union. Sources from the security agencies did not want to comment on what kind of activity they were talking about. Belgium declined to directly comment on Logvinov.

Suspicions against Logvinov appeared last year and were probably first mentioned in the article EU Observer on the activities of alleged Russian agents. At that time, Logvinov was not yet the actual head of the representative office. After the publication, the Parliament launched an investigation into possible links between Logvinov and employees of the European Commission (EC), but the EC denied that such contacts existed.

The question of what to do with this Russian diplomat has allegedly long concerned European diplomatic circles and special services. Belgian counterintelligence allegedly called for his expulsion, but the European External Action Service (EEAS) opposed it, possibly fearing consequences for its diplomats in Russia.

At the question of the co-authors of the study, Martin Goisik, Vice-president of the European Parliament, expressed surprise that Logvinov had not yet been expelled. "If the Belgian security agencies recommended that he be expelled, I am very interested in why the EEAS did not do so," Martin Goisik said.

The European External Action Service said it does not comment on specific individuals accredited as diplomats. Still, in general, the threat of espionage activities is constantly monitored in close coordination with relevant structures.

Logvinov himself and the Russian delegation to the EU ignored a request for comment from the consortium of journalists. 

Earlier, the Swiss press published a piece of information that a fifth of all Russian spies in Europe probably operate in Switzerland.

Non-governmental Russian media recently published an investigation into how the Russian Geographical Society is trying to recruit spies in Norway to collect information about military bases and energy infrastructure facilities.

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