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Monday, October 09, 2006

Now, Russia Goes After Lithuania

As if Russia's attack on the sovereignty of Georgia were not enough, it is now being reported that Russia has attempted to infiltrate the Lithuanian government to force it to back Russia in the dispute with Georgia, using Russia's diplomatic service in Lithuania as cover. Just as in Georgia, the ham-handed Neo-Soviet effort has been filed and the offending "diplomat" expelled from the country. Russia's aggressive, provocatory, imperialist conduct has exploded like a tsuanami in recent days, and we are suddenly faced with a full-fledged cold war with the Neo-Soviet Union. One thing's for sure: The world can't say it wasn't warned by La Russophobe.

The Moscow News reports:

Lithuania expelled a high-ranking Russian diplomat on Sunday for suspected spying, the independent Baltic News Service (BNS) reported, quoting unnamed sources. A Foreign Ministry spokesman declined immediate comment on the report but invited reporters to what he called an informal briefing on the issue on Monday. A spokesman for the Russian embassy in Vilnius also refused comment, the Reuters news agency reported. BNS said the sources told it that the Vilnius-based diplomat had been ordered to leave Lithuania on suspicion of espionage and “seeking to influence Lithuania’s determination to support Georgia amid its conflict with Moscow”. A diplomatic crisis between Georgia and Russia erupted last month after Georgian law enforcement officers detained several Russian officers on suspicion of spying for Moscow. The suspected spies were later handed over to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. On Lithuanian state television, Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas said he would “neither confirm nor deny” the expulsion report. The head of Lithuania’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Raimundas Lopata, hinted at knowledge of the affair, telling state television: “Lithuania remains a state protecting its national interests, which in this given case are related to Lithuania’s support of Georgia.” Lopata noted that this was not the first case of its kind. In 2004, Lithuania ordered out the Russian military attache and two other diplomats for alleged intelligence activities. Moscow retaliated by expelling the Lithuanian military attache. The small Baltic state of Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union before gaining independence from Moscow in 1991, but its road to statehood was more troubled than that of other former Soviet republics. An earlier independence bid the previous year was throttled by a Soviet economic blockade and 13 unarmed Lithuanian civilians were killed in early 1991 while defending the Vilnius TV tower from an attack by an armored KGB unit.

27 comments:

Anna Medley said...

I wonder if now Russian government will start cleansing Moscow from blond blue-eyed tall people that speak with Baltic accent.

La Russophobe said...

That's a horrible thought . . . but even worse is that its master plan probably includes cleansing Lithuania itself of such people.

17 ugly raccoons said...

Wow, and one of them accused me in paranoia, and other used word 'psychobabbling'.

Anna Medley said...

UGLY: My assumption sounded outrages to you? I wonder why.
Remind me, please, about what started happening to Georgians living in Russia after Georgian police arrested Russian officers-alleged spies.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: Very impressive, substantive response. No wonder Russia is such a basket case.

17 ugly raccoons said...

anna medley: Outrages? No, I'm not taking content of this blog seriously (it has some uses as a scarecrow for my friends who are leaning pro-West) and such attitude expanded to comments there.

Now, for some reminding, because I simply cannot reject the request from lady who called me paranoid.

Firstly, Russian officers weren't spies, they've been on Georgian territory legally, they hadn't worked under disguise. Such cases should be solved by diplomats, not by police.

Secondly, after Putin decided to go sanction, some Moscow casinos have been raided by militia. These casinos a) belonged to Georgian mafia b) their personal had broken numerous laws (too many of 'one-handed bandits'; illegal dossiers on clients; trading forbidden goods like Georgian wine - this sort of things).

Thirdly, some Georgian 'thieves-in-law' (high criminal caste) were found and arrested on Russian territory.

Fourthly, campaign for expelling Georgian illegal migrants has been started. As you can see from this blog, already number of deported Georgians exceeded 132, which is horrendous crime comparable only with Holocaust, nyuk nyuk nyuk. Remember the word 'illegal', please.

Fifthly, Georgy Chkhartishvili don't want to pay taxes (and, because he is Georgian, those evil Russians should free him from any taxes, of course!).

Sixthly, authorities at last paid attention to situation on outdoor markets, where Caucasian mafies were traditionally making their money by intimidation and extortion.

You may rightfully ask me: why now? Why only inter-state conflict is the reason for enforcing the law (all listed measures are absolutely lawful)? I can only answer: that's why I am against Putin. Law should be enforced and honored regardless of political or ethnic circumstances. All illegal migrants should be sent home - Georgians, Tajiks and so on. All thieves should be in jails, all outdoor markets should provide free access for any traders, if they are RF citizens and not breaking the law. I think you got the idea.

Of course, it's only cover for my evil imperial plans... If Russians refusing to suffer for others' profit, then they clearly seeking world domination, but you should know this already from this blog. :-)

17 ugly raccoons said...

LR: I knew you'll like it.

Commenting Lithuanian said...

This issue doesn't seem to be as escalated as your coverage suggests and is handled by both Lithuania and Russia in a low-profile manner. (Maybe that's just temporary, we'll see. Ministry of foreign affairs in Russia probably has too few employees for all the "enemies" it has to deal with).

Anyway, you are right about the master plan, in which the Baltic states are set become satellite Russian countries at best and part of Russia at worst. Independence of the Baltic states is viewed as a temporary nuisance. Russia routinely tries to involve itself into internal affairs of the Baltic states before any major elections to support a certain candidate. Rolandas Paksas in Lithuania was probably the best example.

La Russophobe said...

UGLY: Your eductation is somewhat lacking. It's perfectly possible for a "spy" to be legally in a country. In fact, almost all of them are. What's illegal is to particpate in a coup d'etat against a government. Or maybe you think it's just fine if the US Embassy arms its staff and invades the Kremlin? It seems thinking and knowledge are long out of fashion now in Russia, and all that is left is incoherent babbling until the whole house of cards falls into a pile of dust. You're provoking the world's most powerful country into a new cold war when the USSR, with a much bigger population and economy, couldn't win the first one. It's beyond surreal . . . it's Russian.

17 ugly raccoons said...

LR: It is impossible for "spy" to be legally in a country. I really want to see the face of US custom-officer when he looks on declaration which stating "I am spy, I am going to US to get some classified information". These officers we're speaking of, they declared they are from GRU and Georgians knew it. And, I am asking again, where the court decisions deeming these officers as spies or as sponsors of coup d'etat (which is not proven at court anyway)? Saakashvili backed off really quickly (but not quickly enough, heh).

About US Embassy... just warn me beforehand, I'll make a fortune on tickets. More seriously, I don't want to discuss role of US Embassy at Moscow in 1991 and 1993. Very dirty role.

I'll skip another meaningless period about thinking, dust and cards.

About provoking new cold war... there is no such thing. Putin and his cronies working for their pockets. Their money are in Western banks. Ergo they'll betray anyone in Russia but never harm the West, and big western daddies know it perfectly. All this squealing about freedom or tyranny, Georgia or Ukraine and so on, so on... it's just bargaining about deals of Putin's thieves with western fence, nothing more.

If US decides to start a war, cold or any other, we'll not surrender (when Putin or his successor surrenders, we'll hang them at last and show will go on). We already lost the war with many European powers in XVI century (in that time Russophobia as phenomen appears, if you not knew) and paid for it by Time of Troubles at XVII. In that time, our population was 2-3 times smaller than even Polish (Poland invaded and took Moscow). We prevailed. It was beyond surreal... it was Russian.

And, if you are insisting to think in the terms of war, think about this: US can throw in the fray very, very much... but how much damage they can withstand? History not tested you. Yet.

(now I should burst in satanic laughter, but I'll skip this part too)

Commenting Lithuanian said...

Racoons: I wonder if you genuinely do not understand point made by LR in last comment, but I'll try to explain it for you in easy words. Of course no one declares "I am a spy" entering the country. Of course those officers declared that they are, well, officers. And they were in country legally with a declared purpose to work on Russian army base evacuation from Georgia. Now what happens if those officers suddenly forget their declared duties and start spying? Then they are spies. Do their documents suddenly become illegal at this instant? Of course not. So is it possible for a spy to be legally in a country? That's what most of them actually do! And you seem to be confusing "being an officer" with "spying".

17 ugly raccoons said...

commenting lithuanian: You and I understand term 'spy' differently. For example, if US officers at US base in some '-stan' are collecting info on country, I do not consider them as 'spies'. If they are providing means to opposition to overthrowing lawful governement (I'm reminding that case with GRU officers in Georgia is not proven), they aren't spies too (if they are, then I wonder how many NGO doing the same should be sent to eeeeeevil GULag). 'Spy' is person who collects classified info and uses false identity. No more, no less.

Did GRU officers use false identities? Did they try to collect classified info?

Of course, 'Russian spy' is too habitual and simple stereotype to refuse, that I can understand. Or, perhaps, it's insufficiency of terms in English language when the same 'easy word' used for quite different things.

Commenting Lithuanian said...

raccoons: You are seriously mistaken about false identity part, check any dictionary for the definition of the word "spy" (e.g. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spy) and come back. Regarding classified info, if you believe Georgian side, then they did collect it, if you believe Russian side, then they didn't. I'll leave it at that.

Oh, and if "Russian spy" were such a nice simple stereotype to use, I'd have said that any Russian officer abroad is a spy by definition. Which I didn't.

Cyrill said...

Getting back to the original subject hijacked by coons, today's Kommersant reports that Lithuanian Prime Minister confirmed that one of the high ranking Russian diplomats is being expelled, there is still no news of who it is.

There is almost no coverage of the issue in the Media for now. It is most certainly not even close to the ferocity Moscow unloaded on Tbilisi with. But, after all, isn't Lithuania a part of NATO?

La Russophobe said...

CYRILL: In other words, isn't Russia a cowardly bully! Good point!

UGLY: You're quite mad you know. You can call the Russians who tried to overhthrow the duly elected government of Georgia, and who are now moving against Lithuiania, grapefruits for all I care. They're anti-democratic, imperialistic criminals and they're going to get what's coming to them. And so is Russia. I don't even dare to imagine what Russians would say if a group of Americans were found doing to the Kremlin what Russians just tried to do to Georgia; they'd have been shot long ago without trials. Truly, Russian hypocrisy is a breathtaking thing to behold. It is what has brought the country to the brink of utter ruin, losing 1 million people from its population every year.

17 ugly raccoons said...

commenting lithuanian: about 'any Russian officer abroad' you may ask author of this blog, and you'll learn much new. :-) About word 'spy' - thank you for link, now I see that 'spy'!='shpion', but, as you can see, question whether those GRU officers were spies or not, is matter of believing, and you left it at that.

LR: I am mad, Russia is bad, blah blah blah... I am repeating: Saakashvili just smoking very bad things and get punished for his bad trip. Nothing of his hallucinacions are proven, so your accusations are unfounded.

And about Lithuania - AFAIK, Russia hasn't any substantional quarrel with Lithuania, so they'll expel our guy, we'll expel their guy, and there won't be much noise. Even if you really want noise.

Anna Medley said...

LR, CYRILL: Russia is a cowardly bully! I have nothing to add to this description.

UGLY: Now, when you admitted the obvious, tell me who exactly convicted those officers of being spies? They were SUSPECTED to be spying, they were supposed to go on trial to be convicted or acquitted. Did Russia negotiate to get them back without trial? Did they wait and let Georgians try the officers? No, it behaved like a bully: waiting for a tiny little cause to throw a huge temper tantrum. My favorite author Maugham said: To do what they want a person does not need a reason, they need an excuse. Applies to Russia. Vuala!

17 ugly raccoons said...

anna medley: Did Russia negotiate to get them back without trial? Did they wait and let Georgians try the officers?

I hate to disappoint you but hostile action to military personel of other country is act of war. That's why I said this case should've been solved by diplomats, not by police.

Last time I heard about detaining of military personel of other country... yes, that was some Israeli corporal. Care to remember what happened?

And Russia did negotiate. :-) You may not like the means of 'negotiation', but you can't deny its results. Officers are home, and it is good. Now Saakashvili should start thinking how not to provide 'excuses'.

Anna Medley said...

UGLY: You are SO having an agenda-it is boring. How can you possibly compare kidnapping of an Israeli soldier (that was on the guard IN HIS COUNTRY by the way) by a terrorist organization (that gets its arms from Russia through Syria and Belarus; that expresses joy when it manages to kill innosent people) to detaining foreign officers suspected in spying? Wake up and smell the coffee!
About Russian "means of negotiation”. According to your country negotiation is pulling a trigger of a gun aimed at someone's head while announcing that they are arrested.

Commenting Lithuanian said...

Update of the news: Lithuania is expelling the 1st secretary of the embassy Oleg Ryabchikov. Russian source here (ussually Regnum cannot be trusted in anything, this time OK), confirmed by Lithuanian media too.

Raccoons: "any Russian officer abroad" is not a spy by definition for me just because I believe in innocent-unless-proven-guilty principle. In other words, I'm very naive.

I'm quite stunned by your point of view, shared by many others, that any country defending its sovereignity is "smoking something very bad", unless, of course, that country is Russia (or USSR). It may be a hard lesson for you, but good neighbourhood starts in accepting equality of the peers, and not by issuing slave orders in a drill-sergeant voice.

17 ugly raccoons said...

commenting lithuanian: I think you misunderstood me. I am thinking in terms of 'independence'. If some country heavily depends from Russia, it has no right to spit on Russia. AFAIK, Lithuania not depends from Russia too much, so when you are conducting independent policy, I have no objection. Georgia is another case. The idea is: all Georgians who living in Russia and eating from Russian hand, should go back to Georgia, Georgian criminals should go to jail, money flow from Russia to Georgia should stop, they should pay full price for Russian raw and goods and so on. They want independence - let'em get it, and then I'll have no objection about Georgian independent policy. Then, if Saakashvili will announce crusade against New Zealand, I'll not say a word. :-)

'Good neighborhood' is based on mutually accepted and understood capability to do some things by side A to side B and vice versa. It is not based or warm words, pats on the backs and howls about 'historical guilt'. And this lesson all neighbors of Russia should learn. Independence is not some words on paper, it is a real thing or not.

Commenting Lithuanian said...

Your "the strongest one is the right one" attitude is fundamentally flawed too. As if strength (or appearance of it) makes its bearer somehow more "rightful". Lithuania and nobody else would have broked out of USSR. We were heavily dependant on USSR back then, right? And what happened after our declaration of independence? A total economic blockade. Does that remind you of any news lately? The problem with independence from Russia (again, USSR too) is that Russia is willing to give you exactly zero of it. Thoughts like "let'em get it" do not cross minds of Russian leaders.

Anna Medley said...

Lithuanian: This is exactly right! The thing is Russia is not interested in having good neighbors. It is interested in getting them. Typical imperialistic behavior. All or nothing. And then they cry about why-oh-why their slavic (and not-so-slavic) brothers do not like them.

17 ugly raccoons said...

commenting lithuanian: you made incorrect preposition that I am thinking in terms 'right' or 'wrong', 'good' or 'evil', 'moral' or 'amoral'. These terms are correct for personal relationship, but countries and nations are not persons! When you are saying these terms can be applied to groups, classes, nations, societies and so on, then you are manipulated or trying to manipulate. So it is your logic is flawed, as flawed any logic based on idea of some 'universal values'.

I said I'm fine with any independence as long as it is real. Why Russia should pretend that some country is independent when it depends from Russia? It is hypocrisy, right?

And what is making good neighbors? Yes, good fence. If fence is not good and my neighbor is unlawfully using my property for his gain, why should I respect him?

anna medley: now I understood why LR and you saying I am mentally ill, that's because I'm Russian and not crying about any 'brothers'.:-)

17 ugly raccoons said...

anna medley: About Russian "means of negotiation”. According to your country negotiation is pulling a trigger of a gun aimed at someone's head while announcing that they are arrested.

Incorrect analogy. Head of Georgia is on its place and empty as it was before.

Commenting Lithuanian said...

Raccoons - I'll try to make a short resume of what you have said: "If Russia sells e.g. gas to a certain country, it has a right to spy on it and plan a coup, and the country in question has zero right to do anything about it." I guess no further comments are required here.

17 ugly raccoons said...

commenting lithuanian: I envy you. You're living in the really simple world. If you'll find a time, try to rewrite your resume starting from 'If Russia has monopoly on selling gas to a certain country, which can't pay for it...'