16:30 GMT +317 November 2018
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    Russian Embassy Calls Report on 'Russian Spies' Deported From Netherlands Absurd

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy in Switzerland on Friday called media reports on alleged Russian spies caught and deported from the Netherlands after attempting to spy on a lab near Bern "absurd, yet another attempt to fuel Russophobic sentiments."

    "We have paid attention to the article in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper… We consider any such speculations simply absurd and they can only be qualified as another attempt to fuel Russophobic sentiments," the embassy said in a tweet then retweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    At the same time, Isabelle Graber, chief spokesperson of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) said that the FIS took part in the operation against the alleged Russian spies, who tried to spy on the Swiss Spiez laboratory.

    "The Swiss authorities are aware of the case of Russian spies discovered in The Hague and expelled from the same place. The Swiss Federal Intelligence Service (FIS) participated actively in this operation together with its Dutch and British partners. The FIS has thus contributed to the prevention of illegal actions against a critical Swiss infrastructure," Graber said.

    The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has declined to comment on the reports. The laboratory in question has also declined to comment on the publication.

    READ MORE: UK Spy Chief: London Ready to Counter 'Real Threat' From 'Brazen' Russia

    On Thursday, Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported that earlier this year two Russian nationals have been arrested in the Netherlands on spying charges and then deported.

    The media alleged that the suspects had tried to spy on the Spiez laboratory near Bern, engaged in nuclear, biological and chemical research, but their plot was foiled by the joint work of Swiss, Dutch and the UK intelligence.

    The newspaper noted that the laboratory has been analyzing the poisonous substance used in Syria and the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals in March.

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    spy, intelligence, Russia, Netherlands
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