VILNIUS, December 24. /TASS/. Vaidotas Prunskus, the son of former Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimira Prunskiene, has reportedly been arrested in connection with a Russian espionage case, the country’s State Security Department Director Darius Jauniskis told the national TV.
"I can neither reject nor confirm it," he said in response to a question about Prunskus’s arrest.
Kazimira Prunskiene served as Lithuania’s Prime Minister since March 11, 1990, when the country declared independence, until January 10, 1991. She had to step down amid rising prices and armed clashes in the capital of Vilnius, which killed more than ten people. Prunskiene remained active on the political scene, ran for president and served as a lawmaker. However, she retired from politics after recovering from a serious illness in 2012.
Espionage-related reports dominated the Lithuanian media in the past week. On Wednesday, Lithuanian State Security Department Director Darius Jauniskis said that the country’s law enforcement agencies had identified a group, whose members had allegedly been gathering information on instructions from Russia’s intelligence agencies. He said that opposition politician Algirdas Paleckis, allegedly involved in those activities, had been detained over a month ago.
On Tuesday, Lithuanian police detained Russian national Valery Ivanov in the country’s capital of Vilnius for alleged weapons possession. Police said firearms had been found during a search of his apartment. Police sources added that the investigation would later clarify whether Ivanov’s detention had anything to do with an investigation against Paleckis. However, Ivanov was released from custody on Wednesday.
Following these incidents, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Lithuania’s actions were yet another illustration of the country’s anti-Russian policy and a departure from democratic principles.