Russia’s Energy Spies

Please believe me that I’m not just making this one up.  According to a report in Die Welt am Sonntag, Germany’s counter-intelligence agency has its hands full dealing with an influx of SVR agents from Russia targeting the energy sector. Their activities include illegal investigations of Germany energy companies and government plans for diversification, with the goal of increasing business shares in the energy market for Russian companies.  Roman Kupchinsky, who is blogging the story, suggests that other evidence may point to illegal hacking and phone taps to give Moscow more intelligence on Germany and other member states such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania.

It seems unclear whether the SVR is conducting industrial espionage for pure profit, or if this is part of a strategic push to lock down control of the markets.  The problem is that it could be both.