Kirill Logvinov, who leads Russia’s diplomatic mission to the European Union, is suspected by Belgian counterintelligence to be carrying out Russian foreign intelligence functions in Brussels, according to a report.
Mr Logvinov, 48, has been working as a diplomat at the Russian permanent mission in Brussels since 2018, and became its interim head about a year ago, when his predecessor was recalled to Moscow.
Before that, he had worked at the Russian embassy in Berlin for four years.
According to the report by VSquare, a consortium of independent journalists, Mr Logvinov has been suspected by Belgium’s counterintelligence, or VSSE, to be working for the Russian foreign intelligence service, also known as SVR.
While the Belgian government and VSSE "wanted to take more decisive action" against the Russian, the European commission and its foreign service, EEAS, "seemed to prefer a softer approach," VSquare reports.
It is not clear what kind of tasks Mr Loginov might be carrying out as part of his intelligence efforts, but the report points out that he has had a series of bilateral meetings with numerous diplomats, MEPs, and EU officials in Brussels.
VSquare also says Mr Loginov might not be the only Russian intelligence officer in Brussels, and some "could continue to work together with their Belarusian colleagues who have not been expelled".
The EU commission’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, Peter Stano, told VSquare that the EEAS and the commission have applied appropriate measures to assess espionage threats.
"All this is confirmed by continuous security briefings to increase counterintelligence awareness among personnel. A crucial part of all these safety procedures is intensive cooperation with the safety authorities of the member states and other EU institutions," he added.