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News Germany: the spy who informed Moscow about the Bundestag would have collaborated with the Stasi

21:15  25 february  2021
21:15  25 february  2021 Source:   leparisien.fr

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Enough to further poison the already strained German-Russian relations. A German is accused by the prosecution of having transmitted data on the Chamber of Deputies to Russia. The suspect, simply identified as Jens F., worked for a company repeatedly mandated by the Bundestag to carry out checks on his laptops.

But, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, this 55-year-old man has a busy past: a former officer in an armored division of the East German army, between 1984 and 1990 he was an unofficial collaborator of the Stasi, the political police of the former GDR.

Easy access to sensitive documents

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His missions to the Bundestag gave him "access to PDF files containing the plans of the properties" of the lower house of the German parliament, located in the heart of Berlin, details the federal prosecution, in charge of spy cases. Between the end of July and the beginning of September 2017, the suspect "decided on his own initiative to transmit information on the properties of the German Bundestag to the Russian intelligence services", accuses the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe.

He would have thus transmitted these documents to an employee of the Russian embassy in Berlin, suspected of being a member of the Russian military intelligence GRU. Indicted by the federal prosecution, the suspect now risks going to trial, if the competent court gives the green light. This espionage case is not the first to poison German-Russian relations.

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Large-scale Russian hacking

Russia is thus accused of a large-scale hacking that targeted in 2015 the computers of the Bundestag and the services of Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as NATO and the chain of French-speaking television TV5 Monde.

The hackers had also obtained personal data from a mailbox of the German Chancellor, over the period from 2012 to 2015. Angela Merkel was also under surveillance during this period by the , US intelligence agency NSA . The German leader, who speaks the language of Tolstoy perfectly, is struggling to maintain the thread of dialogue with President Vladimir Putin, has herself deplored in the past "scandalous" hacking attempts and assured to have "hard evidence" of the involvement of Russian forces. The list of reasons for contention between the two countries has grown steadily in recent years.

In August 2019, the murder in the heart of Berlin of a Georgian from the Chechen minority by a man suspected of having acted on orders from Moscow had sparked tensions between the two capitals. Since late 2019, this affair has resulted in Berlin expelling Russian diplomats to protest their lack of cooperation in the investigation. The alleged perpetrator has been on trial since the autumn in Berlin. Moscow also rejects all accusations in this case.

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But this is recently the case of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, treated in Berlin after a poisoning that he attributes to the Russian services which has made relations a little more strained, a few months before the 80th anniversary of the invasion by the Nazis of Russia. Berlin has repeatedly called for the release of the number one Kremlin opponent, , who was imprisoned upon his return to Russia on January 17.

Despite these strained relations, Moscow and Berlin continue to defend against all odds their controversial pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, which will link the two countries, despite opposition from the United States.

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Angela Merkel, who will step down at the end of the year after 16 years in the chancellery, considers Nord Stream as "an economic file" in which the government "has always refused to interfere", according to a spokesperson. word of the German leader.

Berlin is also in the process of developing the Russian anti-Covid vaccine in Europe, S poutnik V, whose effectiveness has been recognized as by a scientific journal. A German laboratory, IDT Biologika, could thus participate in the production of the Russian vaccine. She also suggested that the German Medicines Agency "support Russia" in applying for approval to the relevant European body, the EMA.

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