One more piece of KGB puzzle put in place

  • 2005-03-02
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The long-debated question over KGB status looks as if it has finally been answered. The KGB reserves were, indeed, part of Soviet security, however the status of individuals enlisted differs from that of other KGB employees and secret agents.

That was the answer of the parliamentary commission, which is currently investigating the circumstances behind the enlistment of state officials in the KGB reserve.

"The U.S.S.R.'s KGB reserves were the KGB's mobilization part, designed for extraordinary circumstances like the threat of war, the start of war, natural disasters, mass riots and war," said commission chairman Skirmantas Pabedinskas.

"Individuals enlisted in the KGB reserves, unlike its regular staff and secret agents, solicitors or assignees, would not be involved in active functions. The KGB management's instructions contained functions for them that would only come into effect in an extraordinary or wartime period," Pabedinskas said.

The ad hoc parliamentary commission was specifically asked to investigate the enlistment of Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis, State Security Department Director General Arvydas Pocius and Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Alfredas Pekeliunas in the 1980s, and to establish whether their positions in government posed a threat to national security.

According to Pabedinskas, the commission had developed answers as early as Feb. 25, when he said that Seimas' lawyers would "dress the answers in legal clothes" by the next panel sitting.

"Late in the evening, we formulated answers to another three questions presented to the commission 's whether legal procedures and laws were not violated when employing persons listed in the KGB reserves in the past, and about the circumstances of their enlistment in the KGB. The commission has agreed on them but will vote on Feb. 28, after our answers take a legal form," the chairman said.

Both Valionis and Pocius have admitted that they were enlisted in the KGB reserves. Pekeliunas, on the other hand, denies this fact.

Although state laws do not stipulate enlistment as conscious collaboration with the Soviet Union's secret service, there has been heated public discussion as to whether such people have the moral right to hold state offices.