2020.03.03 13:00

Latvia arrests alleged Russian spy 2020.03.03 13:00

Latvia announced on Monday it has arrested a Latvian citizen for trying to recruit an officer from the country's intelligence services to spy for Moscow.

"The agent [...] contacted the Latvian officer to try to recruit him into handing over classified material that could then be used by Russia's secret services against Latvia but the agent has been arrested instead," Latvia's security service said in a statement on Monday, according to AFP.

Read more: Russian couple face treason charges over alleged links with Baltic intelligence

The legal proceedings against the Latvian citizen were initiated in June last year. The person faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Meanwhile, Lithuania conducted an unprecedented spy swap with Moscow in late 2019, which also included a Norwegian citizen.

In the yearly report on threats to the national security released in February, Lithuanian intelligence bodies said that Russian secret services "systematically search for foreigners that are able to provide intelligence".

Read more: Russian spies recruit tourists, undermine minorities in Lithuania – report

The majority of Russian espionage cases that came to light in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in recent years involved Baltic residents recruited within Russia, according to the report, which also names a Russian agent from Kaliningrad working in Lithuania.

Latvia, meanwhile, has in 2018 convicted two citizens of spying for Russia. Olegs Buraks, a former Latvian police officer, is currently awaiting trial, according to AFP.