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Russian spooks get EU ban

Agence France-Presse



BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — The EU and Britain imposed sanctions Thursday on senior Russian intelligence officers for their alleged role in hacking the computer network in the German parliament in 2015.

The head of the GRU military intelligence agency, Igor Kostyukov, and intelligence officer Dmitri Badin have been banned from EU soil and are subject to an asset freeze.

A GRU unit, alleged to be responsible for cyber attacks, has also been added to the EU sanctions list.

Britain, which formally left the EU in January, said it was joining the bloc in enforcing asset freezes and travel bans against the two officers and intelligence unit.

A cyber attack in April and May 2015 completely paralyzed the IT infrastructure of the Bundestag and the entire parliament had to be taken offline for days while it was fixed.

In a statement, the European Council said that “a considerable amount of data had been stolen” and that “the e-mail accounts of several members of parliament, including that of Chancellor Angela Merkel” had been hit.