Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry has completed an internal investigation and notified the State Security Department (SSD) in response to the conclusions of a classified probe that were published in the media.
Minister Linas Linkevičius confirmed to BNS on Wednesday that the ministry finished investigating the publication which appeared on www.alfa.lt news portal about a classified investigation carried out by the general inspectorate into the leak of ambassadorial conversations.
“Back in 2013, we turned to the SSD, as required by the Law on State and Official Secrets. We also carried out an investigation of our own. We have no new information. All the next steps were the competence of the institutions that are proceeding with their probes,” said the Minister.
BNS has not yet managed to receive a comment from the SSD about the measures taken in response to the reports about leak of classified information.
In October 2013, www.alfa.lt news portal said it had familiarised with a classified investigation of the general inspectorate. The portal reported that the conclusion drawn by the general inspectorate, headed by former high-ranking security officer Virgilijus Petkevičius, suggested that the leak of the diplomatic conversations is part of “active measures of the Russian intelligence” in connection to Lithuania’s presidency of the European Union (EU) Council and especially the Eastern Partnership summit that took place in Vilnius in the end of November.
On Wednesday, Linkevičius dismissed as rumours the latest media reports about the SSD having in possession the original recordings of the ambassadorial telephone conversations, which were allegedly reported to a diplomat of the ministry by a presidential adviser.
“These are rumours and we will not give any comment on this, comments should be made by those who are spreading or investigating them,” the Minister told BNS.
Secret recordings of telephone conversations among Lithuanian diplomats appeared on YouTube last summer, a move the Foreign Ministry then dismissed as an “information provocation”. The scandal resulted in the sacking of Lithuanian ambassadors to Hungary and Azerbaijan, Renatas Juška and Arturas Žurauskas.
An investigation into the leak is carried out by the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau.