Former Stasi agent on Vilnius mission

  • 2005-07-13
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - The State Security Department has reportedly opened an investigation into a visit by a former Stasi agent to Lithuania regarding the upcoming change of ownership at Mazeikiu Nafta. The Lietuvos Rytas daily reported July 11 that Matthias Warnig, a former special service agent who currently heads German Dresdner Bank's office in Russia was recently received by President Valdas Adamkus and Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas.

Warnig arrived as part of a six-person delegation from Russia's Gazprombank interested in possibly acquiring a stake in Lithuania's oil refinery, which is expected to go up for sale by its current owner, the embattled oil company Yukos. The delegation was reportedly led by Andrei Akimov, who has strong ties with the KGB, according to the daily.

Warnig visited the President's Office under odd circumstances, the paper wrote, and the name of the former Stasi agent was included in the list of guests last minute. Warnig is well acquainted with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, who worked as a KGB agent in the German Democratic Republic for eight years. A month before the country's collapse and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Warnig left for Dresden and started cooperating with the KGB. Putin returned to St. Petersburg, and Warnig began working at Dresdner Bank.

In 1991, Warnig started heading the bank's office in St. Petersburg. BNP-Dresdner Bank opened in that city two years later. There is some information that the company was established with Putin's help.

According to Lietuvos Rytas, Putin has not forgotten the agent. It was Dresdner's Russian office that, for instance, was contracted to conduct an inspection at Yuganskneftegaz, one of Yukos' core production assets, in the beginning of this year.