17:54 GMT31 May 2020
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    Brussels is a hotbed of Russian and Chinese spies according to a recent report from a popular German newspaper.

    Chinese and Russian spooks numbering in the hundreds freely roam the streets of the EU capital city, notes a breathless article from the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

    The German news outlet, owned by the same parent media company that publishes the nation's third largest newspaper Die Welt, noted that diplomats and emissaries of many nations have been advised to avoid specific restaurants and bars in the so-called European quarter of Brussels.

    According to recent estimates from the European External Action Service (EEAS) — the diplomatic arm of the European Union — there are likely "about 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies in the European capital," cited by Welt.de.

    EU diplomats and military attaches have been told to stay away from named cafes and restaurants located within walking distance of the primary European Commission office building, according to reports.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new iPhone 8 at the Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Cupertino, California.
    © AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
    The statements from the EEAS — a branch of the EU headed by chief EU diplomat Federica Mogherini — avow that the alleged Beijing and Moscow spooks are primarily based within the embassies of their home nations, but do not offer specific details.

    The EEAS additionally asserted that Russian secret agents have historically made up the largest percentage of foreign spies declared to be operating in the Belgian capital, according to Welt am Sonntag.

    As well as being the home of the EU, Brussels also claims the honor of being the European headquarters for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), leading to memories of a 2003 spy scandal in the city targeting Spanish, British, German and French diplomats who worked within the European Council's Justis Lipsius building.

    While those responsible for the notorious bugging scandal were never positively identified, the global intelligence community widely placed the blame on US and Israeli operatives.


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