A Russian woman is questioned in Denmark over allegations of helping a foreign intelligence agency

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Russian woman has been detained and questioned in Denmark for allegedly helping a foreign intelligence agency to operate in the country, the Scandinavian nation’s security service said Wednesday.

The woman, who has not been named, faces preliminary charges of enabling a foreign intelligence service to operate in Denmark — including aiding it in propaganda activities, the Danish domestic security service, known by its acronym PET, told The Associated Press.

In Denmark, preliminary charges are one step short of formal ones but allow authorities to detain suspects during an investigation.

“The case is related to a story in several European media about a Russian state fund and is not related to the just concluded European Parliament elections,” PET said in a statement.

It declined to say whether the woman, who was detained Tuesday in southern Denmark, had been released after questioning.

Danish broadcaster DR said the woman, a Russian citizen, was “a central figure in the Russian community in Denmark,” who had received money from a Moscow-based state fund, the Russian Foundation. DR said she offered legal aid to other Russians in the Scandinavian country.

Calling for the woman’s immediate release, the Russian ambassador in Copenhagen, Vladimir Barbin condemned her detention as a “brazen and shameless provocation by the Danish security services aimed at intimidating our compatriots, discrediting their non-profit groups for keeping in touch with the Motherland.”

Barbin insisted that her detention was linked to “false materials” published in the Danish media about the Russian Foundation, in a statement released by the Russian foreign ministry. He said the organization offered support and protection to Russians living abroad, and that it was only helping them in Denmark to “understand Danish law.”

In May, Finn Borch Andersen, head of PET, said that Russian intelligence services increase their activities to “continuously obtain information in the West.”

“It is also PET’s assessment that Russia shows a higher willingness to use so-called hybrid measures against and in Europe to create fear and uncertainty, and to weaken popular support in Europe for continued support for Ukraine,” Borch Andersen said in a statement.

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