Lithuania detains suspected Russian spy - prosecutor's office

  • World
  • Tuesday, 05 May 2015

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania has detained a Russian citizen suspected of spying, the prosecutor-general's office said on Monday, a move that will further strain already poor relations between the ex-Soviet Baltic republic and Moscow.

A court ordered three months detention for the alleged spy, who is suspected of trying to infiltrate Lithuania’s leadership, law enforcement and security institutions, the prosecutor-general's spokeswoman Elena Martinoniene said.

The detention was ordered last Thursday, she added. Formal charges have not yet been brought and no further details about the detainee's identity were immediately available.

"Things like this do not improve mutual trust between countries," Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told Reuters.

The Russian embassy in Vilnius could not be reached for comment.

Lithuania, a member of NATO and of the European Union, last week summoned the Russian ambassador after accusing Russian ships of disturbing the laying of an underwater power cable connecting its grid to Sweden. Moscow said it was protecting military exercise areas.

Last year Lithuania, whose President Dalia Grybauskaite has branded Russia "a terrorist state" for its actions in Ukraine, arrested two of its own citizens saying they had been supplying classified information to Belarus and possibly to Russia.

It expelled three Russian spies in 2014 working under diplomatic immunity, the country’s state security department said in its annual report.

(Reporting by Andrius Sytas: Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Gareth Jones)

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