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30 Jun, 2023 14:21

Kremlin responds to arrest of Russian hockey player in Poland

Warsaw had previously announced the detention of a Russian citizen on suspicion of espionage
Kremlin responds to arrest of Russian hockey player in Poland

Moscow is seeking to clarify the circumstances behind the reported arrest of an unnamed Russian athlete in Poland who Warsaw suspects of spying for the Russian state, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. 

He noted that while Russian officials were trying to obtain details about the incident, the work of the Russian embassy in Warsaw was being complicated by the Russophobic attitude of Polish officials.

“I am sure that the embassy will now be trying to figure this all out, we will surely get some details, although, of course, it is very, very difficult for the embassy to work in Warsaw right now due to the completely frenzied Russophobic position of the Polish authorities,” Peskov told journalists. 

“Because of this, for now, we, unfortunately, don’t possess any detailed information,” the spokesperson admitted. 

Russia’s embassy in Warsaw also announced on Friday that it had sent an official letter to the Polish Foreign Ministry seeking confirmation of reports of the arrest of a Russian citizen and an explanation of the charges against him. The embassy noted that no reply has yet come from Polish officials. 

Earlier in the day, Polish Attorney General and Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced on his Twitter page that the Polish Internal Security Agency had arrested a Russian citizen suspected of spying for Moscow. 

“A spy who acted under the guise of an athlete was caught,” the minister wrote, adding that the Russian, whose name has not been disclosed, was a player of a first division hockey club. Ziobro noted that this is “the 14th member of a spy network” that the Polish authorities have uncovered.

According to the press service of the Coordinating Minister for Special Services, the Russian had worked “on behalf of foreign intelligence” and allegedly carried out assignments in Poland to “study critical infrastructure in several regions.” It’s also noted that the individual in question had lived in Poland since October 2021. 

The Polish authorities have reportedly charged him with participation in an organized criminal group and working for foreign intelligence. The man faces up to ten years in prison and has currently been placed under arrest for three months.