The Dutch government expelled two alleged Russian spies this year after being accused of planning to hack into a Swiss chemical laboratory in which Novokokene samples from the Salisbury attack were analyzed.
The men were arrested in The Hague this spring as part of an operation with British, Swiss and Dutch intelligence services.
The Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported that the men had equipment that could be used to break into the Spiezlaboratorium IT network when they were
Isabelle Graber, Communications Director of the Swiss Intelligence Service, FIS, said in a statement to the Guardian: "The Swiss authorities are aware of the fall of Russian spies discovered in The Hague and expelled from the same place.
" The Swiss Federal Relief Service (FIS) participated actively in this operation with its Dutch and British partners. FIS has thus helped to prevent illegal action against a critical Swiss infrastructure. Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military officer and double agent for MI6 and his daughter, Yulia, was poisoned in Salisbury on March 4. 1
It is unclear why the two expelled men were in The Hague, which hosts the organization's headquarters for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The Swiss Federal Agency for Civil Protection said in June that the Spiez Laboratory was directed against hackers allegedly being from the Russian government's attached group of Sandworm. It is not clear whether the expulsion of the two spies from the Netherlands was linked.
The Sandworm hackers formed a laboratory organizing committee and sent a document with instructions for a forthcoming conference on chemical weapons in September Ask. Then the chemical weapons experts who had been invited to the conference aimed at opening the document.
"Someone who was the Spiezlaboratorium," said Kurt Münger of the Federal Civil Protection Agency at the time. "We immediately informed the conference call that the document was not ours and pointed to the danger. The laboratory itself has not recorded any outflow of data."
In an interview with the Russian TV channel RT two men like Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were identified, allegedly accused by the British government to poison Skripals, acknowledged that they had visited Switzerland on several occasions.
Petrov, who claims that he is in the fitness and business business, but accused of Boshirov being a member of the GRU, the Russian intelligence service, said: "If the memory is good for me, we only had a couple of trips to Switzerland. We spent time during the New Year holiday there. Our travels are not always business-related. We went to Switzerland on vacation. We also had some business trips there, but I can not really remember when it was. "
Spiezlaboratorium" calls for national authorities and international organizations to implement and develop weapons control and non-proliferation agreements "according to its website.
The laboratory is also "involved in international missions in connection with weapons control and environmental protection".
In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that he had received confidential information from the Spiez Laboratory that the nerve agent used to poison Scriptum in Britain could be a substance that was never produced in the Soviet Union or Russia.
He said the documents pointed to a Western-shaped nerve agent, the so-called BZ substance, as a likely cause of poisoning, thus excluding Russia's participation in the attack. He did not disclose the source of his confidential information but said: "We ask OPCW why the information that reflected the conclusions of specialists from the Spiez laboratory was completely omitted from the final document."
His claims were rejected later. The BZ substance was used only in the laboratory as a counter test for novichok.
The role of OPCW has become a seriously questioned diplomatic issue, as Russia tries to confirm that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad have repeatedly used chemical weapons in Syria. It has a number of certified laboratories where experts have the power to investigate suspect chemical weapons.
West and Russia have accused each other of preparing to attack chemical weapons attacks in the Idlib region of Syria. Russia claims the westernly staged films of false Syrian attacks to produce the motivation for reprisals. It is expected that France, the United Kingdom and possibly Germany would be involved in some counter attacks.
Russian officials for more than a week have claimed camera officials, using the volunteer civil defense group White Helmets, are preparing on stage fake chemical attacks.
The Dutch government has refused to comment on the expulsions. Two Russian diplomats were expelled from the Netherlands in the wake of the Salisbury attack in a demonstration of solidarity involving more than 25 countries worldwide.