Poland detains man suspected of spying for Russia
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish authorities have detained a man suspected of spying for Russia, public broadcaster TVP reported on Monday.
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The suspect was in contact with Russian intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover at the Russian embassy in Warsaw, according to TVP.
The man was detained by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) last Friday in an operation coordinated with the security services of other European Union countries, TVP reported.
Nord Stream 2 link?
The suspect worked in a government ministry and is believed to have passed on information to Russian intelligence officers about Polish government plans regarding blocking the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to TVP.
The planned gas link from Russia to Germany would bypass Poland and other countries in the region. Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine all oppose the project.
A US State Department spokeswoman said last week that the US government opposed Nord Stream 2 as the project would undermine Europe’s energy security and stability.
Stanisław Żaryn, a spokesman for Poland’s special services chief, told the TVP Info news channel: “This was an official involved in projects of key importance to the Polish energy sector and he had access to key information on energy projects that the Polish government is conducting... this was very damaging activity.”
The suspected spy was also involved in bids for EU funds as part of efforts to diversify Poland’s gas supplies and reduce the country’s dependence on Russia, TVP said.
A court approved a motion by Polish prosecutors to detain the suspect, named only as "Marek W", for three months, TVP reported.
News of the alleged spy being held broke as a number of EU countries including Poland were expected to decide how to respond to a suspected nerve agent attack by Russia on an ex-spy in Britain.