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Polish PM vows 'no leniency' for Russian spies

19.04.2024 18:00
Poland's prime minister declared on Friday that "there will be no leniency" for Russian spies in his country, vowing to thwart "every act of betrayal" and "every attempt at destabilization."
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

The National Public Prosecutor's Office announced a day earlier that a man suspected of having ties to Russia's military intelligence had been detained and charged in Poland.

According to investigators, the suspect, named only as Paweł K., was prepared to work for Russian military intelligence operatives, intending to furnish them with information conducive to orchestrating an attempt on the life of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Anna Adamiak, a spokeswoman for Poland's prosecutor-general, said investigators believe the detained man had been gathering information about the security of Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in southeastern Poland near the Ukrainian border on behalf of the Russian military intelligence service.

In a separate case, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda announced on Friday that two people had been detained in Poland on suspicion of attacking Leonid Volkov, a top aide to the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a post on the X social media platform on Friday: "A Pole who was planning to target President Zelensky on behalf of Russian intelligence services was arrested two days ago. A Belarusian man working for Russia who hired two Poles to assassinate Navalny's associate has also been detained."

Tusk added: "The two assailants are in custody. They are linked to the 'ultras' [soccer] fan groups ... There will be no leniency for collaborators with Russian intelligence services."

"We will thwart every act of betrayal and squash every attempt at destabilization with unwavering resolve," he vowed.

Volkov, an exiled Navalny aide, was attacked with a hammer on March 12 outside his home in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

Russian opposition activist Leonid Volkov. Russian opposition activist Leonid Volkov. Photo: EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

Lithuania's counterintelligence said at the time that the attack was the work of Russian security services, according to a report by the Reuters news agency.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda on Friday thanked Poland's authorities and law enforcement for detaining Volkov's assailants and said the two suspects would be transferred to Lithuania, Reuters reported.

"I thank Poland for a really good job," Nausėda said, as cited by Reuters. "I discussed this with Polish President Andrzej Duda."

Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in an Arctic penal colony in February.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters