Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry yesterday rejected the "false and slanderous" allegations, disseminated via a Moscow mass-circulation newspaper, about Lithuanian state involvement in drug smuggling to Western countries. "One can see with the naked eye the efforts by some political forces in Russia to portray Lithuania and the Baltic states in general as a crime zone posing dangers to Europe and therefore unworthy of inclusion in Western integration processes," the statement said. (BNS, May 21)
In an article bearing the marks of a feed from intelligence services, Komsomolskaya pravda alleged over the weekend that officials of Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs Ministries have conspired with Chechen groups since 1992 and are now conspiring with the command of the Chechen resistance to smuggle drugs to Western Europe, primarily Germany. The story was replete with details of the alleged operations and the amounts purportedly smuggled on several routes. Last week, Komsomolskaya pravda, along with the equally pro-reform and pro-Yeltsin daily Segodnya, carried interviews with Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) personnel and stories based on FSB materials which accused [replaced: accusing] Estonia of smuggling arms to Chechnya and the Irish Republican Army.
Belarusian Protest Leaders Released Pending Trial.