1/3 of Russian diplomats in Sweden are spies – Swedish intel
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – One third of Russian diplomats stationed at the embassy in Stockholm are spies, Sweden's intelligence agency Saepo said on Wednesday, March 18.
"Of the Russian embassy's diplomatic staff, about one-third of them are not actually diplomats, they are in fact intelligence officers," Saepo's chief counter-espionage analyst Wilhelm Unge told reporters as the agency presented its annual security report.
"This is a very constant number, this is the way things look year after year," he said.
Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service SVR, military intelligence GRU and the Federal Security Service FSB were all present in Sweden, Unge said.
He said the modern-day spies were "highly educated, often a little younger than they used to be in the Soviet era, driven, determined, and socially competent. And they network."
Saepo said the Russian presence in Sweden was aimed at acquiring cutting-edge technology and "preparations for military operations against Sweden".
Unge's comments come amid concerns in Sweden over Russia's military resurgence.
In October 2014, a week-long search for a suspected Russian submarine in the waters off Stockholm was called off despite members of the public reporting numerous sightings of suspicious vessels.
The search in Stockholm's archipelago, involving battleships, minesweepers and helicopters, stirred up Swedes' memories of Cold War cat-and-mouse games with suspected Soviet submarines along Sweden's long, rugged coastline.
Together with a series of alleged airspace violations by Russian jets over the last year, it helped bolster public support for NATO membership in the non-aligned country.
Unge declined to comment on how many spies were believed to be working at the US embassy in Stockholm, when asked to compare the two missions. – Rappler.com