There are eight members of Seimas, who have lost their permits to work with classified information. The Seimas speaker cannot disclose who they are. A part of the parliamentarians lost their licenses because of a change in office, Dovilė Javinskaitė writes in lrytas.lt
However, after the scandal revolving around Irina Rozova, MPs responsible for security are no longer sure whether there aren’t more members of Seimas akin to I. Rozova or Mindaugas Bastys, the Lietuvos Rytas television show Reporteris notes.
Three years of this Seimas term haven’t passed yet, but two parliamentarians have been uncovered, who lost the right to work with classified information.
It turns out that in this Seimas term, eight other members of Seimas have had their permits removed. The typical reason for the permits being removed was the cessation of work or service relations with the secret subject or the end of authorisation for the individual in question.
This information was presented to the Lietuvos Rytas television by Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis. Former chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee Arvydas Anušauskas is uncertain all eight no longer work in Seimas.
“Among those we have the ones elected to European Parliament, lost their mandates in Seimas, did not renew their member of Seimas permits. I doubt that there could be another I. Rozova or a similar case, though the truth is told, I did not know of this case either, so a year and a half ago, I would have said the same.
I doubt there could be, but there was one,” A. Anušauskas told Lietuvos Rytas’ show Reporteris.
Uncertainty emerges due to Russian Alliance member I. Rozova, who works in the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania Seimas group. For a year and a half, Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis knew that she could not work with classified information. Because, according to intelligence documents, I. Rozova coordinated her party programme, the coalition with the Poles and opportunities for Kremlin financing with Russian diplomats.
I. Rozova did not disclose her connections to Vladimir Malygin, who worked as a spy when filing a security questionnaire. Whether I. Rozova is the single such case in Seimas is something that even the incumbent chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee is uncertain about.
“I cannot say, I should review information, but I. Rozova’s case revealed that it could be. Because indeed, we do not know all this information. How could committee members know whether it’s all the information received this month if everything is placed in one pile, there being no dating or names?
This should be done continuously by the committee chairman. Inform, how many samples were received this week, what names, what numbers,” the chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee Dainius Gaižauskas said.
“It was a mistake that I did not write in the request. I did not understand, what must be marked there,” I. Rozova said. However, with the journalist enquiring, what she did not understand – whether she has connections to non-European Union or non-NATO representatives or what connections meant, I. Rozova retorted, “No comment.”
Member of the National Security and Defence Committee Laurynas Kasčiūnas says that the VSD questionnaire is straightforward and clear.
“There’s no ambiguity there; it’s all obvious. The essence is much personal information, but the core questions of whether you have cooperated with former staff of KGB structures, it’s challenging not to understand or pretend you do not,” he said.
According to the former head of the State Security Department (VSD) Gediminas Grina, permits to work with classified information are issued for a period beyond the length of a Seimas term. Also, everyone granted a permit is informed as to what they should avoid.
“If a permit is needed for “Completely Classified” information, it’s for five years. For “Classified” it is 10 years. AN individual receives instruction on why they have the permit and where there are dangers, this is done by the security services. You see, if a person, particularly a member of Seimas, does not know how many members of NATO or the EU there are, such things do not convince me,” the former VSD head stated.
Former Social Democrat member of parliament Mindaugas Bastys, who is a doctorate holder, also claimed he did not understand the question.
The former head of intelligence Mečys Laurinkus says that it is crucial to know how many MPs there are, who cannot work with classified information, in Seimas.
“Let them announce how many there are, not necessarily by name. Then another question will emerge, which has been floating around for a long time. Is refusal to grant a permit to work with state secrets automatically incriminating for impeachment? For all cases or not all? For which? Then there may be an awkward situation, where there is selective abuse of authority. Here, we’ve chosen a politically convenient case. That’s it,” M. Laurinkus says.
Former Seimas speaker, later head of the National Security and Defence Committee Artūras Paulauskas says that it is crucial to mend all the security flaws. They existed a decade ago, and they were evident.
“Some ten years ago, information reached me that embassy staff are walking around Seimas, meeting Seimas group prefects, consulting on coalition formation, who to include; I was outraged. I publicly stated, no more walking around. There must be very public registration of visits. The people, who they visit must meet them and escort them out so that you don’t have them visiting Jonas first and then walking around for a day, visiting whoever they want, and no one knows, who they saw,” A. Paulauskas said.
In total, permits to work with classified information have been issued to 89 members of Seimas. Some MPs consciously do not want such a permit. It is thought this is due to wanting to ensure security.