CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

BUSINESS QUESTION – LITHUANIA AND THE KGB – 27 January 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Foreign Secretary, after he has had a chance to investigate the matter, on the information contained in early-day motion 591, which was tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell)?

[That this House notes with great concern the recent admission, following the discovery of documents in the Lithuanian Special Archive, that both the country's Foreign Minister, Antanas Valionis, and, even more importantly, the Director-General of the State Security Department, Arvydas Pocius, were Reserve Officers in the Soviet KGB; deplores the dismissal of the Director of the Lithuanian Special Archive; believes that there are implications for the security of NATO, notwithstanding the welcome improvement in relations between Russia and the West; and calls upon the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to make a statement about these disturbing revelations.]

The early-day motion relates to the recent admissions that not only the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, which is now a NATO country, but the head of Lithuania's principal intelligence service were reserve officers in the Soviet KGB. It also notes the worrying fact that it appears that the head of documentation archive in which the information was discovered has been sacked. This is a very disturbing matter. We are remembering the Nazi holocaust today, but there was a Soviet holocaust as well. In addition, there are implications for NATO security. I should be grateful if the Leader of the House conveyed to the Foreign Secretary the need to look into this serious matter.

[Peter Hain: I shall certainly convey the hon. Gentleman's request to the Foreign Secretary, because he is right about the seriousness of the matter. I understand that there is particular sensitivity in the international Jewish community about the implications of the discovery and that the Lithuanian Parliament has established a commission to investigate allegations of links between senior public figures of the KGB. It held its first meeting yesterday and I cannot prejudge its findings.

I am absolutely bowled over that the hon. Gentleman did not ask about the diary of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. I can only assume that he is giving my right hon. Friend the day off because it is his birthday.]