Russia Dismisses Suspected Spy Actions as Routine Dutch Trip

MOSCOW (AP) -
Four Russian citizens, who allegedly attempted to hack the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague are seen in this handout picture released last week. (Ministerie van Defensie/Handout via Reuters)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that suspected Russian spies accused of trying to hack into the world’s chemical weapons watchdog weren’t doing anything illegal.

Lavrov was the first senior Russian official to address last week’s accusations by Dutch officials that Russian GRU military intelligence agents tried and failed to hack into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Netherlands revealed the four men’s identities, and media organizations including The Associated Press corroborated these allegations, proving that the men were linked to the GRU.

Lavrov told Russian news agencies there was “nothing secret” about the men’s trip to the Netherlands. He called them “specialists” and said they were on a “routine trip.”