Russian security officer detained on suspicion of spying for Lithuania

Russian officials have detained a security officer on suspicion of spying for Lithuania, the country's main intelligence agency said Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Vasily Khitryuk, of the Federal Prison Service, has been accused of inducing Russian military and security officers to provide secret documents to the Lithuanians for money, said the Federal Security Service, the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB.

"Irrefutable proof of spying activity of the Lithuanian special services' agent has been obtained," the agency's press service said.

It said Khitryuk's detention in Russia's westernmost city of Kaliningrad prevented a leak abroad of secret military information about combat and mobilization readiness of the Baltic fleet and troops deployed in the Kaliningrad region.

The Baltic Sea enclave is separated from the rest of Russia by NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Embassy in Moscow declined to comment on the incident, reports AP.

Relations between Russia and Lithuania have been strained since the Baltic country regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Over the past seven years, there have been several incidents of tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.

In the latest incident, Lithuania expelled a Russian diplomat suspected of espionage earlier this month.

Lithuania joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.

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