France said it had uncovered a Russian intelligence operation on French soil and would expel six Russian agents it said were operating under diplomatic cover.
“After a very long investigation, the Director General of Internal Security (DGSI) unveiled on April 10 a covert operation of the Russian intelligence services in our country,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
“Six Russian agents operating under diplomatic cover, whose activities have been found to be contrary to our national interests” have been declared a bad personality.
The Foreign Ministry did not provide further details on the nature of the Russian operation, nor did Interior Minister Gerald Dermanin, who said on Twitter only that it was an “amazing counter-espionage operation”.
Extraordinary counter-espionage operation. Congratulations to the DGSI agents who have encountered a network of Russian clandestine agents who are working against our interests. The agents involved must leave the national territory. In the future, the DGSI will focus on our fundamental interests
– Gerald Dermanin (@GDarmanin) April 11, 2022
France expelled earlier this month 35 Russians of diplomatic status following the publication of photos of atrocities allegedly committed by Russian soldiers in Boca after the invasion of Ukraine in late February.
This was part of a broad and coordinated response from the EU, when Germany also expelled diplomats that day.
France has summoned the Russian ambassador several times in recent weeks, in part following photos and statements posted on Twitter from the embassy’s official account, which it called provocative and obscene.
On Monday, the French Foreign Ministry said that number two of the ambassador had been summoned in his absence due to the alleged Russian operation.
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