Former Dutch diplomat: Russia used energy to inflitrate, influence, spy in Europe

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was a Russian infiltration project, but this was ignored by the Dutch government, according to former Dutch diplomat Kees Klompenhouwer in an interview published on Friday.

Klompenhouwer was head of foreign intelligence for the Dutch secret service (AIVD) between 2002 and 2006. He also acted as Dutch ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 until 2017.

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“[Nord Stream 2] was absolutely a Russian infiltration project,” Klompenhouwer told NRC in the interview published Friday. “It fits completely into Putin’s modus operandi”, he added.

“The Russians lure their partners with short-term benefits, their dependence on Russia grows, they are tied to Russia – and then they are drained,” he added.

The report touched upon how the Russian state spied on Dutch energy company Gasunie, which acquired a 9% share in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its employees.

The report also points to a lack of coordination within Dutch authorities: Despite the AIVD repeatedly warning about Russia’s espionage activities in the country and the potential risk of being overly dependent on Russia in the energy sector, the Dutch government opted to ignore these preoccupations.

“We thought: we have to be quick. If you are of importance in energy, you are taken more seriously in the EU too,” Netherland’s former Foreign Minister Bernard Bot (CDA) was quoted as saying. (Benedikt Stöckl |

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