Russian ship found off Belgian coast: ‘We shouldn’t be naive’

Having a boat, “Looks like a Russian research vessel“Previously seen in Dutch waters, it was detected in Belgian waters in mid-November, Vincent van Kuykenborn said on Tuesday. To the federal minister in charge of the North Sea, “this area is, without a doubt, part of the wider context of the war. Ukraine”.

The vessel in question was sailing without an Automatic Identification System (AIS). The Maritime Information Center has launched an investigation following this suspicious navigation. “We don’t know the exact intentions of this Russian boat, but we shouldn’t be naive”says the minister. “Especially if its behavior is questionable, if it goes near our wind farms, gas pipelines and submarine cables and other critical infrastructure.”

Our intelligence and security services are focused on this situation

In a press release, Vincent van Quickenborn promised to take the necessary steps to protect these infrastructures. Dutch defense and military intelligence services said on Monday that the same vessel had passed through the territorial waters of the Netherlands. For the Russian ship, it was hypothesized that it was a question of mapping critical infrastructure. “Our intelligence and security services are focused on the situation“, underlined Mr. van Kuykenborn.

The Liberal deputy prime minister also clarified that the new law on maritime safety, which came into effect earlier this year, now authorizes video surveillance at sea, “especially in wind turbines, which this suspicious boat seemed to be interested in.”.

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