Gintaras Visockas. About friends of Kremlin Intelligence

Even the wisest philosophers agree: in politics there are a number of issues that cannot be viewed from only one perspective. Different groups might treat the same aspect differently.

A neutral observer looking into things from different perspectives can find truth in both sides of the barricade.

For example, Donald Trump, President of the United States, issued a command to bombard supporters of Syrian dictatorship. It happened for the first time after cautious and action-lacking two-term presidency of Barack Obama. 

A book by M.Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein “Stalin’s Secret Agents”. Publishing house “Briedis”. Slaptai.lt photo.

Yet Lithuanians does not know how to react to such Trump’s decision – with joy or with sorrow? Marius Laurinavičius, analyst from Hudson Institute in Washington, wrote: “… for now, V. Putin can only rejoice – the presidency of D. Trump lives up to most Moscow’s expectations and investments thatwere blatantly done to ensure victory of one of the candidates in elections” (15min.lt).

Publicist Audrius Bačiulis in daily newspaper “Lietuvos žinios” proclaimed a completely opposite opinion – “American tomahawks over Syria brought good news to Lithuania”. A Bačiulis is certain that: “D. Trump’s decision to launch Tomahawk missilesis exactly what the power-losing Western World needed after thedull presidency of Barrack Obama. The missiles stroke Syrian military airport harboring bombers that poisoned people of Idlib who fought against President Assad”.

Edward Lucas, senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and senior editor for “The Economist”, proposed the third version in his article with a catchy headline: “Trump needs Putin more than Putin needs Trump”.

It is difficult to see what position E. Lucas takes exactly. He takes an insurance: it may be one way or another. Even reading the article for a few times it is not clear if the author supports Washington’s decision to bombard Syria or not.

One of the most memorable ideas of E. Lucas is that: “The thinking in the White House is that Vladimir Putin is eager to emerge from his international isolation. He will do a lot for a handshake. The only real problem for the US administration is how to placate critics, who would regard any deal as selling out to Russia” (BNS).

And what position should righteous people of Lithuania take?

Nonetheless, even the wisest of men could not argue that politics have many issues where two different opinions are not possible. Let us take French presidential election into consideration. Does Lithuania not know which of the two candidates is more politically attractive? It is clear, that Lithuanians would prefer centrist Emmanuel Macron who supports the EU and NATO over Marine Le Pen who dislikes the United States and NATO. Lithuania would not support those, who consider the US as enemy and Putin’s Russia as friend. That would be a common sense.

We should hold the same thought dealing with actions of Member of Seimas Mindaugas Bastys. According to members of the Lithuanian Parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee, the aforementioned politician acted against interests of Lithuanian people. Such conclusions where made after the report of The State Security Department (VSD). The report lists M. Bastys’ connections with Yevgeny Kostin, representative of nuclear energy corporation “Rosatom”, Piotr Voeyka, former agent of KGB, Ernestas Mackevičius, reporter of a state-owned Russian television channel RTR, Saturnas Dubininkas, former member of Kaunas mafia, and Vadim Pakhomov, entrepreneur suspected of illegal activities. According to VSD experts, such connections would make M.Bastys vulnerable. A great deal of secret information would fall into unreliable hands. Especially when M. Bastys became First Deputy Speaker of Lithuanian Seimas.

Gintaras Visockas, author of this commentary. Slaptai.lt photo

In 2006, the Lithuanian intelligence service was already suspicious of M. Bastys’ connections with possible Russian spies. M.Bastys was warned that such steady relationship with Russian intelligence agents would lead to no good. Yet he has not abandoned his actions and challenged our “James Bonds”. Arvydas Pocius, who was a head of the State Security Department of Lithuania at that time, has not seen a big problem, and M.Bastys, who was later chosen as an advisor of Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas, was allowed to work with secret documents. In my opinion, VSD should have looked not only into the matter of M. Bastys but also his superior G. Kirkilas.

Only after a decade this friendship of M. Bastys and influential Russian individuals once again came into attention. This time everything is more serious. Vytatutas Bakas, head of the Lithuanian Parliamentary National Security, has no doubts that “M. Bastys had constant relations to the Russian Special Forces”. It is obvious, that M. Bastys’ actions are like attempts to distance Lithuanian energyi ndependence from Russian influence.

Rasa Juknevičienė, member of the Lithuanian Parliamentary National Security, has also astrong position against M.Bastys. Tsajunga.lt published her analytical article “From what starts the treason”. The article reveals Russian intrigues during that period of time: stopping constructions of Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania and opening doors for two Russian nuclear projects – Astravets NPP in Belarus and Baltiiskaya NPP in Kaliningrad.

M.Bastys on a very high political level represented “Rosatom”, which aimed to construct nuclear power plants in Lithuania and its neighborhood. All according to Russia’s plans. It might be the reason why Japanese company Hitachi was ousted from Lithuania. Hitachi’s plans were a quick construction of safe and reliable nuclear power plant on our soil as an alternative to Russian projects.

Thus, the answer to question if the politician could betray his country is quite obvious. M. Bastys tried to defend himself stating that all deals with “Rosatom” representatives were in the best interest for Lithuania. Yet his argumentsand public announcement that he “have not betrayed Lithuania” were not convincing.

Obviously, there should be no second opinion (Russia is not a partner to be trusted), yet it still comes into surface. It seems that Social Democratic party sees no reason to feel ashamed and it does not stay silent. It starts vicious and persistent defense of the compromised colleague, who is more and more often called “a friend of Kremlin intelligence service” by Lithuanian press. What if they are afraid that trapped M.Bastys would sell his sidekicks and the real truth will be revealed why he became G. Kirkilas’ second-hand and why he is so vigorously vindicated by Artūras Skardžius, persistent critic of “Independent” gas terminal.

Naturally, M. Bastys’ lawyers will name this case as political. However, the analysis of this scandal should be done not through the eyes of defending lawyers or colleagues from Social Democratic party. Let us look into this case from the eyes of M.Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein, authors of “Stalin’s Secret Agents”. The book was recently translated to Lithuanian by publishing house “Briedis” ant it states: “naturally, there is nothing wrong if espionage is investigated as a separate phenomenon – more over, this is a very positive thing, however, such investigations might be misleading if completely ignoring influence on politics made by soviet agents working in federal institutions during that time”.

This idea is developed though the whole book which analyses Soviet influence of Franklin Roosevelt’s government (maybe one day a similar book in Lithuania will be published dealing with the influence of Russian agents on our governments?). Thus, a successful plotter is not the one who stole secret files. The real success of a spy is an ability to influence the top state officials. By the way, the authors provide examples, that Soviet spies who were infiltrated into Washington’s public institutions and who did the most damage have never been properly punished.

Source – Lithuanian newspaper published in the US – DRAUGAS (www.draugas.org)

2017.04.27; 08:27