News in English

2019.08.21 14:26

Lithuanian MP discussed ‘political situation, projects’ with Russian diplomats, opposition says

BNS2019.08.21 14:26

Lithuanian MP Irina Rozova, was denied access to classified information after failing to report her ties with Russian officials.

MP Laurynas Kasčiūnas from conservatives’ in the opposition, said on Wednesday the intelligence material showed that Rozova had discussed "the political situation, dynamics, trends, projects" with Russian diplomats, but he gave no further details.

MP Irina Rozova is a member of the Russian Alliance, which is part of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance's political group in the parliament, Seimas.

The information came to light after the Seimas’ National Security and Defence Committee (NSGK) started looking into the circumstances surrounding Rozova's participation in Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) event in Tbilisi that sparked mass protests in Georgia earlier in June.

Rozova told BNS recently that she does not remember what reason she was given for being denied permission to work with classified information. She also says she received no warnings from the State Security Department against attending the IAO event in Tbilisi.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis was among those who were informed about MP Irina Rozova's concealed contacts with Russian diplomats, according to MP Kasčiūnas.

The lawmaker spoke after the NSGK decided to initiate a parliamentary investigation into whether Rozova, as well as other MPs who knew about her concealed ties but took no active steps to prevent potential national security threats, could have breached the oath and grossly violated the Constitution.

According to NSGK Chairman Dainius Gaižauskas, the conservatives’ MP Kasčiūnas, MP Virgilijus Alekna from the Liberal Movement and Vytautas Bakas, the then chairman of the committee, also had access to the information a year and a half ago.

Kasčiūnas says that since it was classified information, he could not use it.

"What can you do with a classified document? If I tried to disseminate the information contained in a classified document, I would violate the laws of the Republic of Lithuania," the conservative MP told reporters on Wednesday.

"I was certainly not the only one who was aware of the situation a year and a half ago. We also have the speaker of the Seimas, who had a non-classified document, too, and there was also Prime Minister [Saulius] Skvernelis," Kasčiūnas said.

"He was aware of the situation, too. If we begin to clarify these circumstances, we will also look at the fact that the prime minister has known about it for a year and a half," the lawmaker said.

"I am not the one who is in the coalition with the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance now," he added.