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Russian national Valery Ivanov detained for weapons possession, say Lithuanian police

Firearms were reportedly found in his apartment

VILNIUS, December 19. /TASS/. Russian national Valery Ivanov has been detained in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius for weapons possession, Lithuanian Police General Commissioner Linas Pernavas said at a press conference at the prosecutor general’s office on Wednesday.

According to him, firearms were found during a search of Ivanov’s apartment. "The prosecutor dealing with the case will decide on a preventing measure against Ivanov," Pernavas added.

According to the police general commissioner, the investigation will later clarify whether Ivanov’s detention has anything to do with an investigation against opposition leader and human rights activist Algirdas Paleckis, suspected of spying for Russia, who was arrested more than a month ago.

The 71-year-old Ivanov, who comes from the Lithuanian city of Kaunas, is a famous columnist. He wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that "several men carrying no identification are trying to enter" his apartment. "I don’t know what I am persecuted for and what will happen to me now," he added.

In late Soviet years, Ivanov a Russian-Lithuanian-Polish organization Unity, which called for preserving the Soviet Union. A Lithuanian court sentenced him to three years in prison for his political activities, which had been labeled as anti-state. After serving out his sentence, Ivanov wrote a book called Lithuanian Prison.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Lithuania told TASS earlier on Wednesday that diplomats from the Russian embassy were seeking to visit Ivanov and also intended to meet with investigators.