MINSK, March 22. /TASS/. The State Security Committee (KGB) of Belarus eliminated the Ukrainian resident spy network that had been operating in the republic under diplomatic cover for several years, KGB Investigative Committee deputy head Konstantin Bychek told reporters Tuesday.
"In accordance with the Belarusian law, actions of certain Ukrainian diplomats contain signs of crime under the […] Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (espionage). However, in accordance with Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, these people enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution by the state of residency. Due to the emerged situation, the KGB took exhaustive measures to paralyze the enemy’s spy activities and liquidate the rezidentura that acted under diplomatic cover," the official said, according to BelTA.
According to Bychek, Belarusian intelligence officers have been registering active spying operations "from the position of the Ukrainian embassy in Belarus, and from this state’s consulate in Brest" for the last few years.
"While the Ukrainian diplomatic mission has slightly over 20 employees, at least half of them were employees of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine," the KGB representative said, adding that 8 out of 19 Embassy employees were Ukrainian intelligence agencies’ officers.
According to the official, such actions of Kiev "prove that Ukraine embarked on a course of aggressive spying operations against our country in spite of normal diplomatic relations.
"The measures undertaken by KGB on thwarting illegal activities of Ukrainian diplomats that were supposed to be a signal for Ukrainian intelligence agencies, did not stop hostile activities against our countries," Bychek said.