Saturday, November 13, 2004

What Is The KGB Interested In?

from Polish newspaper Fakt

19 Oct 2004 pages 2-3

By Magdalena Rubaj and Tomasz Pompowski:

"What Is the KGB Interested In?"

Alganov is only one of hundreds Russian agents spying in our country. Experts we have asked about what the Russian Federation Security Service [FSB], the successor of the KGB, is doing in Poland tell us that each year the situation gets worse.

"Poland is full of Russian agents," former KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky tells us. Polish experts confirm his claim. "Russian business equals secret services, secret services, and secret services. They do business with our entrepreneurs," says General Gromoslaw Czempinski, former chief of the Office of State Protection [UOP].

The most recent affair with Vladimir Alganov is only the tip of the iceberg. "There are currently hundreds of Russian officers of the FSB and the former KGB operating in Poland," says an officer of the Polish services. "At least several of them might have an influence on major political and economic decisions."

"They are implementing the strategy adopted after the collapse of the Soviet Union aimed at making Poland and other countries dependent on Russian energy resources. Their activity has intensified since Putin became Russian president," says Marek Biernacki. The former Interior Minister points out to another threat: "Polish companies employ former secret service officers as experts. There are no guarantees that these experts are loyal to Poland."

Russian agents are also trying to infiltrate our secret services. "The circumstances are favorable for them. They met a lot of our people many years ago at training courses and parties," says Tadeusz Rusak, former chief of the Military Information Services [WSI]. "They might have a hand in shaping Poland's economic policy. Just look what Alganov has managed to do on his own."

"There were 12 spies at the Russian Embassy whom we managed to deport from Poland. The 'Olin' affair showed that [former] Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy did have contacts with a Russian spy, therefore the most recent reports on Russians gaining access to top state officials do not come as a surprise," says former UOP Chief Colonel Zbigniew Nowek, who is currently an expert on the Sejm commission investigating the Polish Oil Concern Orlen affair.

Energy Sector

Gas, oil, and -- most recently -- electric energy are the number one target of Russian agents. Russia is seeking to make Poland dependent on its supplies. This would enable it to blackmail any Polish government. The meeting between Vladimir Alganov and [the weathiest Polish businessman] Jan Kulczyk clearly shows this: the two men discussed not only oil, but also mysterious electricity deals. The Russians earlier did everything they could to control a fiber optic cable that was to connect Russia with the West via Poland.

WSI

Our experts say the military intelligence is infiltrated by Russian agents. How is that possible? The WSI are a relic of the Polish Peoples Republic. Oddly enough, they have resisted deep reforms since the collapse of communism. Agents trained under the previous system know their Russian colleagues very well. Many of those colleagues are high-ranking state officials.

Banking Sector

This is a strategic sector of the economy. Thousands of people were cheated by Russian businessman David Bogatin, who was associated with the Russian services, in the early 1990s. Experts claim that the Russians still have their people in major Polish banks. The fact that the banking sector was taken over by former officers of the Polish communist services after the system transformation poses an additional threat.

Politicians

Nine years ago Vladimir Alganov succeeded in winning the trust of then Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy. This shows how keen the Russian services are to establish ties with Polish politicians. Twelve Russian diplomats who were discovered to be spies were expelled from Poland in the times of the Jerzy Buzek Solidarity cabinet. A Polish diplomat who was found to have collaborated with the Russians was also denied a promotion to Brussels.

(via Marius, with thanks)
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