On 26 June 2023, Switzerland’s Federal Intelligence Service warned of the increasing risk of spying in Switzerland.
According to the report, Russia has destroyed the rules-based order for peace in Europe. The effectiveness of international forums such as the UN has continued to decline and there are no signs of a stable new world order.
The threat to Switzerland posed by foreign (mainly Russian and Chinese) espionage remains high, said the document. Switzerland has one of the highest numbers of Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover, in part due to its role as a host to international organisations. The nation’s membership in the UN Security Council increases the espionage threat for Swiss individuals who are responsible for UN Security Council dossiers, said the document.
In Switzerland, out of a total of 220 Russian diplomats in Geneva it is highly probable that at least a third already work for Russian intelligence, reported RTS.
Chinese spies are also numerous. Tens of them are probably present on Swiss soil. However, unlike Russia, China is more likely to use non-diplomatic cover for its spies. Their intelligence operatives are more likely to work as scientists, journalists or business people.
Carlo Sommaruga, a member of the federal Council of States, described international Geneva as a place that doesn’t feel secure because of the risk of being spied on.