02:51 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Belgian Troops to Be Stripped of Phones Amid Russian Spying Fears - Reports

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Belgian military involved in NATO's military missions in the Baltic States will soon be deprived of the opportunity to use personal smartphones because of concerns about possible espionage activities, including on the part of Russia, the VRT broadcaster reported.

    VRT reported, citing Head of Division Operations of the Belgian Defence Staff, Gen. Carl Gillis, that the Belgian Defense decided to tighten rules on the military's use of smartphones, as geolocation services of some mobile apps could deliver sensitive information about military bases or soldiers.

    According to Gillis, Russia is interested in obtaining this kind of geolocation data.

    READ MORE: Spy Mania: MI5 Reportedly Makes Secret List of MPs With 'Links' to Russia, China

    Belgian troops take part in artillery drills as part of Trident Juncture 18.
    © Corporal-chef Sedeyn Ritchie, Belgian combat camera team
    Gillis also stressed that the Belgian Defense Ministry, in comparison with the UK armed forces, did not have enough funding to provide their military with disposable phones and laptops.

    NATO has been boosting its military presence in Europe, particularly in the Baltic states, since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, citing Russia's alleged interference in the conflict as a justification for the move. Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, while Russian authorities have repeatedly said that NATO actions near the Russian border aimed to destabilize the situation.

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    Tags:
    mobile phones, NATO, Baltic Region, Russia, Belgium
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