Updated at 17:39,28-11-2020

Lithuania sentences man for spying for Belarus

Belsat.eu/en / Delfi

Vilnius County Court has found Lithuanian citizen Romualdas Lipskis, a former employee of state company Oro Navigacija (Air Navigation) guilty of espionage on behalf of a foreign state. Lipskis has been in custody since January 24, 2015.

The man was sentenced to three years and three months behind bars in a correction house.

“On October 19, 2012 Lipskis made photos of classified documents and schemes. These data were delivered to a representative of foreign intelligence,” the judge said.

According to the defendant, the information he transferred to a Belarusian person consisted of diagrams that are not classified and ‘are available anywhere online’.

Belarusian surveillance officer Syarhei Kurulenka was the defendant’s spymaster, the judge stated.

Kurulenka is known to have been collecting information about Lithuanian airfields: surveillance cameras recorded him walking near a military unit’s airfield.

Not all papers of the case against Lipskis have been recognised. The court stressed that the information about Lipskis’ activity after October 22, 2012 had been obtained by illegal means.

Romualdas Lipskis has the right to appeal the conviction.

According to the Lithuanian side, Belarus might have shared the information obtained with Russia.

The prominent British journalist Edward Lucas, the author of a book on Russia’s spying, states that Belarus is spying in Lithuania both individually and is also acting as a proxy for Russia.

“Belarus does two things, it’s spying as Belarus and it’s also acting as a proxy for the Russians. So one of the questions would be whether this is part of Belarus’ bilateral espionage efforts on Lithuania or whether this is Belarusian KGB acting on behalf of their Russian brothers,” Mr Lucas said.