The Fall of a Lithuanian Politician: Mindaugas Bastys’ Pro-Moscow Links

Mindaugas Bastys is a political and public figure in Lithuania. Mindaugas Bastys, a member of the Lithuanian Social-Democrat Party (LSDP), which was an element of the ruling coalition, was the deputy chairman of the parliament and a candidate to be the next chairman of LSDP in 2017.

Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) exposed his connections to Russia and activities in advocating the interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation. Resultantly, Bastys lost his high-ranked standing in the parliament and was forced to quit the race for the chairmanship of LSDP.

The VSD disavowed Bastys security clearance and provided reasoning for the decision, triggering additional procedures against him. Numerous politicians demanded Bastys resign from the parliament, but he declined to do so, so an impeachment effort was undertaken in March. After a parliamentary investigation, a special commission, created just for this case, concluded that he disregarded the Lithuanian constitution and should relinquish his parliamentary seat. Bastys declined to testify in front of the commission.

Thereafter, the Parliament voted to endorse the commission’s conclusion and hand the case over to the Constitutional Court. Several of Bastys’ comrades in the LSDP coalition stood up in his defence, including Juozas Olekas, who was the minister of defence between 2012 and 2016.

Moreover, The initial intelligence report that was revealed to the media claimed that Bastys had close links to Evgeni Kostin, who is depicted as a representative of Rosatom as well as Russian interests in Lithuania. The VSD argues the relationship between Kostin and Bastys is “close” and Bastys allegedly completes tasks assigned by Kostin, which makes Bastys “vulnerable.”

Another connection revealed by VSD is Petr Vojeiko, CEO of Dujotekana, one of Lithuania’s largest energy companies laboriously involved in Russian gas deals. VSD claims in the report that Vojeiko is a retired KGB officer who maintains links to other former members, including Vladimir Yakunin, the former head of Russian railways, who is exposed to major corruption stories.

The intelligence report also connected Bastys to businessman Saturnas Dubininkas, suspected by the VSD to be a former leading member of the Lithuanian mafia structure based in Kaunas, the country’s second-largest city. Dubininkas allegedly worked to legalize his investments and works on behalf of Russian and Belorussian interests in Lithuania.

The VSD reasons that Bastys has a “personal” relationship with Dubininkas and operated his son as a personal assistant in parliament. These claims were later approved by the parliamentary commission.

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