Date: 30 September 2019
Parliamentary Inquiry Launched in Lithuania: MP Irina Rozova Accused of Cooperating with Russian Diplomats
The Lithuanian Seimas has decided that one of the parliamentary committees will conduct an investigation aimed at determining whether the actions of MP Irina Rozova posed threats to Lithuania’s national security. The VSD, the country’s counter-intelligence, revealed that for many years Rozova has had close ties with Russian diplomats and has discussed a number of political issues with them. The MP assures that during her talks with the Russians she did not discuss “dangerous topics”. The inquiry committee is to present its conclusions by December 1, 2019. Rozova may lose her seat in the parliament.
Irina Rozova is a member of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance (EAPL-CFA) parliamentary faction. She is one of the leaders of the Russian Alliance, a party which ran together with the Poles in the latest elections. On September 24, the Seimas decided that the National Security and Defence Committee will investigate Rozova’s alleged ties with Russian diplomats. The motion was supported by 86 MPs in the 141-seat Seimas, one MP voted against and 12 abstained. Previously, the motion to launch a parliamentary investigation was supported by 94 MPs in the 141-seat Seimas, one MP voted against and seven abstained. All of this happened after the State Security Department (VSD) revealed that for many years Rozova has maintained close ties with Russian diplomats based in Lithuania, involving, for example, discussions on a political programme of the Russian Alliance (RA), on cooperation within the coalition between the Lithuanian Russians and the Lithuanian Poles, and on Russia’s alleged involvement in financing the RA election campaign.
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Both the EAPL-CFA faction as well as Rozova herself voted in favour of the investigation, the latter claiming to be the victim of political intrigue. The MP denies concealing her ties with Russian diplomats from the VSD. She claims that a VSD security survey, which MPs are obliged to fill in, is vague. Rozova does not hide the fact that she met with representatives of the Embassy of Russia in Vilnius as a representative of the Russian minority in Lithuania, however, she asserts that during the meetings she did not raise any issues which may threaten the national security of Lithuania. She denies discussing Moscow’s involvement in financing the Russian Alliance. Starting from the list of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, Rozova was elected Member of Parliament twice (2012, 2016). The group representing the Polish minority in Lithuania has long cooperated with Russian factions in both local and national elections, arguing that it gives them better chances of crossing the electoral threshold (5%). If the VSD accusations against Rozova are confirmed, then this will be yet another argument against further cooperation between the EAPL-CFA group and the Russians. Especially if it turns out that the RA politician had actually discussed coalition issues between her party and the Poles with Moscow and passed the information on the internal situation as well as EAPL activities to the Russian authorities.
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