SMELL OF KGB: In August, President Dalia Grybauskaite visited this former KGB prison, now the Museum of Genocide Victims, in Vilnius.
VILNIUS - On Feb. 24, President Dalia Grybauskaite met with members of the Lithuanian parliament’s Committee on National Security and Defense urging them to finish the lustration process as soon as possible. Lustration in Lithuania refers to the policy of disclosure of former KGB agents and informants, limiting their participation in civil service positions.
“The president proposed to finish lustration quickly. The material related to the KGB’s activity incorporating people into its actions should be made available to the public. Such information should be published with qualified explanations,” Linas Balsys, spokesman for Grybauskaite, said after the meeting. Such a qualified explanation could be given by the state-run Genocide and Resistance Research Center, because it is the only state institution which researches the Soviet epoch in Lithuania.
Grybauskaite also urged for the preservation of guarantees of secrecy for those KGB agents and informants who confessed about their former activity to the Lithuanian state officials. “Lustration should be finished by 2012,” Arvydas Anusauskas, chairman of the parliament’s Committee on National Security and Defense and former historian at the Genocide and Resistance Research Center, said after the meeting. He pointed out that time is running out: the average age of a conscripted KGB agent was 35. This means that the majority of agents are either pensioners, or are already dead now.
According to Algimantas Urmonas, head of the Lustration Commission, the publication of KGB materials and their explanation may meet with some difficulties due to the fact that a majority of KGB materials were destroyed or transported by the KGB to Moscow during the collapse of the USSR, and it can be difficult to separate those whom the KGB closely observed and the observers in the pieces of KGB documents which were left in Lithuania.
During the two decades after re-establishment of Lithuanian independence, the Lithuanian state wanted disclosure of former KGB agents, mostly because of fear that they could be blackmailed and manipulated by Russia’s current secret services.