VILNIUS - Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, backs a parliamentary investigation into Russia's influence on the Lithuanian political system and individual politicians.
"Discussions at the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense (CNSD) on the need to investigate Russia's influence on our political system and individual politicians are supported and, therefore, must be implemented," he said in a statement on Thursday.
According to the speaker, a competitive parliamentary investigation will help improve the legislative framework to ensure that "our political system is stable and resilient to external threats".
"Every year, in national security threat analyzes, we see individual cases where Russia tries to intervene in our country's processes, and today we have a number of espionage cases in courts," Pranckietis said in the statement.
"Therefore, we need to know the scale of intervention, how resilient we are and what safeguards we need to put in place to avoid irreversible consequences. This is about security, our key value," he said.
The CNSD is initiating a parliamentary investigation into MP Irina Rozova's alleged ties with Russian diplomats and security officials.
Earlier this month, the committee was shown the State Security Department's report, submitted to Pranckietis in January 2018, in which the intelligence agency recommended against granting Rozova access to classified information.
The department said in the document that Rozova and Russian diplomats had discussed financial assistance to her party, the Russian Alliance.
According to the intelligence information, the lawmaker discussed with Russian diplomats possibilities for forming a political entity representing ethnic minorities jointly with the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance.
The report says that Rozova tried to get Russian diplomats involved to influence the formation of a ruling coalition at Vilnius City Municipal Council eight years ago and that the member of the Seimas had contacts with Russian Consul General Vladimir Malygin who was sent out of Lithuania in 2014.
Rozova was elected to the Seimas in 2016 as a candidate of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania and is currently a member of the party's political group in the parliament.