The senior MEP's intervention risks putting Brussels on a fresh collision course with Angela Merkel over the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Mr Verhofstadt hit out on social media after German federal prosecutors charged a man with passing blueprints and building plans of Berlin's Bundestag parliament building to a suspected GRU agent in the Russian Embassy in the city.
It’s time to get our act together on Russia
The man, identified only as Jens F, obtained PDF files with the floor plans during the course of his work for a company that was hired to maintain electrical equipment in the Bundestag's buildings, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Mr Verhofstadt tweeted: "If the media recently started to read like a John le Carré novel, it’s time to get our act together on Russia.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
"Putin demands the EU to be strong, consistent and united!"
Guy Verhofstadt has urged the EU to stand up to Russia (Image: GETTY)
The spy row and Mr Verhofstadt's tweet about EU standing up to Russia could further strain ties between Moscow and Berlin and strengthen the hand of opponents of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will link Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea.
Critics, including new US President Joe Biden, have warned the project heightens Germany's dependence on energy from an unreliable and potentially hostile partner.
Two opposition parties in the Bundestag, the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats, are also campaigning to bring it to a halt.
And Norbert Röttgen, the leading foreign policy expert of Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union, describes it as an “instrument of