Poland detains ministry officer suspected of passing info to Russia

Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) has detained Marek W., an employee at one of the ministries responsible for economic policy, on suspicion of co-operation with Russian intelligence officers, PAP has learned on Monday.

Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for the minister co-ordinator of Polish special services, has told PAP that the man was detained on March 23. Zaryn added that according to ABW, the official passed to the Russian special services vital information on key investments as well as on the Polish government's planned activities in relation to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

The spokesman said that Marek W, as a civil servant at one of the ministries responsible for economic affairs, has dealt with projects strategic for Poland's energy infrastructure and with obtaining EU funds for the diversification of gas deliveries. Zaryn did not name the specific ministry where the suspect worked.

Later in the day, Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said that the detention of Marek W. had no direct connection with Monday's expulsion of four Russia diplomats from Poland. The minister added that the case is "yet another signal that threats on the part of Russia should be treated in a serious way."

"Generally speaking, I can say that this shows that Russia's activities are seriously directed against state security, in this case against Poland. In other words, this has no direct connection with the expulsions."