Parliament panel to look into installation of Russian system in railways

The parliament's National Security and Defense Committee opened an investigation into possibly unlawful influence upon decisions of state institutions, aiming to establish the person behind the decision to install Russian-made safety system Klub-U in modernized locomotives of the state-run Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG).

"One of the episodes is very specific – the processes that have been taking in Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai over the past few years, specifically the certain technological system, the Klub-U system, which, in our view, is a threat to national security and is linked with Russia's military industry," Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the committee, told journalists after a closed meeting on Wednesday.

"We are looking into the circumstances of installation of the system, the persons who were responsible and the level the decisions were harmonized. It is very important whether it was the board level or the executive level, as well as whether there was some supervision from from the ministry or the government. We are now working to identify those who made the decisions that we will have to correct and come up with large sums to ensure safe operations of the company," Bakas said.

As part of modernization of the LG system, the state-run company installed the Klub-U safety system using the GLONASS Russian navigation system, which was provided by Izhevsk Radio Factory, a company that is part of the Russian military industrial complex. After a few conservative MPs questioned safety of the system, Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai confirmed that it had been installed in around a third of locomotives.

In mid-October, the parliament instructed the parliamentary committee in connection to possibly unlawful influence of persons, business subjects and other interest groups upon decisions taken by state institutions.

The committee will also scrutinize whether the "existing ties with persons that could threaten national interests were aimed at making unlawful influence upon decisions taken by state institutions or unlawful influence on politicians or political processes."

The scrutiny was initiated by the committee's chairman based on the earlier probe into the ties with then Social Democratic MP Mindaugas Bastys with persons working for Russia. After the parliament concluded that his ties constituted a threat to national security, impeachment proceedings were opened against Bastys.

The committee should present conclusions on the latest inquiry by May 1.

Source: BNS
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