Polish press comment on investigation of alleged spy case in Belarus

Today's Polish media international events headlines are paying much attention to the investigation of the spy case in the neighbouring Belarus. A leading Warsaw-based daily Rzeczpospolita also writes about the trial of "the Polish spies" in Minsk.

Former majors of Belarus Armed forces Vladimir Russkin and Viktor Bogdan, service staff members of radio engineering brigade of air defence troops Paul Petkevich and Sergei Kornelyjuk are among the accused.

In article titled Polish Spies In Courtroom, Rzeczpospolita comments on the beginning of lawsuit in the case of four Belarus militaries who have been accused of cooperation with the Polish intelligence.

The criminal case was initiated in the middle of July when the officer of the Belarus antiaircraft troops Vladimir Russkin was accused of cooperation with the Polish intelligence. Polish customs officers have detained him once on the frontier when he tried to illegally import some bottles of vodka. According to the Belarus authorities, he was offered cooperation in exchange on permit of contraband. He had ostensibly agreed and later enlisted three more Belarus and one Russian officer, Minsk says.

According to the governmental news agency BelTA, the Polish side was interested in "strategic military objects" in territory of Belarus and Russia, means of antiaircraft defence, in particular, about complexes -300. The Belarus officer was detained at attempt to transfer secret information, and the Russian officer, major Sergei Yurenya, ostensibly pleaded guilty himself to the Russian FSB.

There are more questions than answers in this case, the paper underlines. Belarus expert Valery Karbalevich, quoted by the daily newspaper, expressed his surprise, how the Belarus officer could betray his native land for some bottles of vodka. Thus it is not known, what have been reasons of betrayal of the Russian officer. Moscow has not confirmed and has not denied the information issued by the Belarus security services, paper adds.

The Belorussians are accused of very heavy crime, betrayal of the native land and in some cases one may be sentenced to death for this crime. However independent experts consider that this lawsuit pursues political goals and its final will depend on what the authorities in Minsk will consider necessary from the point of view of relationship with Poland.