Artur Strekh, acting spokesperson for the Committee for State Security (KGB), told BelaPAN on Tuesday that the man who was arrested for spying for Lithuania had been tasked by the “Lithuanian military intelligence agency” with creating a spy ring in Belarus to gather information about “the functioning of the Air and Air Defense Force.”
According to Mr. Strekh, the man is a citizen of Belarus and a former officer of the Belarusian Armed Forces who retired from military service in 2002 and moved to Lithuania where he was granted a permanent residence permit and lived in a suburb of Vilnius. To facilitate the performance of spying functions, Lithuania provided financial assistance for the man to start a commercial business in Belarus.
Mr. Strekh said that he would not disclose any other information because this might damage the investigation.
As the KGB announced on July 12, the man, identified as “F” and described as a “fixed-post spy” of Lithuania’s military intelligence agency, was caught “red-handed” by KGB officers while he was being handed secret information by members of his spy network, who were also arrested.
The KGB did not say when the arrests were made and how many people were arrested.
The KGB only stressed that there was documentary evidence that fully proved the group’s spying activities, and that those arrested had admitted to spying for Lithuania.
On the same day, the Lithuanian foreign ministry dismissed the Belarusian KGB’s report as speculation. “This speculation of the Belarusian KGB does not contribute to the improvement of bilateral relations,” Mindaugas Lasas, spokesman for the Lithuanian foreign ministry, told BelaPAN.
“I would treat reports by Belarus’ security agencies very cautiously,” commented Arvydas Anusauskas, chairperson of the Lithuanian parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee. “These reports are not substantiated with evidence. I think these are some operations by Belarusian security agencies, in which they try to involve Lithuania.”
The KGB views Lithuanian officials’ statements as an “attempt to save the reputation of the national intelligence services, which illegally acted in the territory of Belarus,” Mr. Strekh said. //BelaPAN