Director of the state security Department of the Republic of Lithuania
Colonel Elegijus PAULAVIČIUS
Director of the Defence Intelligence and Security Service under the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania
Russia’s war against Ukraine has presented a challenge to our intelligence community, on the other hand, it has had a sobering effect on how threats and security challenges that the whole of Europe is currently facing are perceived. It is more obvious than ever that Russia and its decision to use military force is the biggest threat to Lithuanian and European security alongside complicit actions by the authoritarian and Russia-dependent Belarus.
The intelligence community had warned decision-makers about the impending Russian aggression before it started on 24 February last year and ever since has been keeping them up to date about the developments in the ongoing conflict. Lithuania, a close friend and staunch supporter of Ukraine, not only worked tirelessly to highlight the importance of support to Ukraine but through the intelligence cooperation with its allies helped to enhance the perception of long-term threats emanating from Russia.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lithuania and other Western states took additional actions to reduce the activity of Russian and Belarusian intelligence services in their own countries. Yet, we responsibly reiterate that dangers of provocation and recruitment of our or Western citizens visiting these hostile states have rather increased than disappeared.
It is pleasant to note that Lithuanian society shows resilience to hostile propaganda, though Russia still attempts to exploit pro-Kremlin individuals in Lithuania for its own benefits. The cooperation of intelligence, law enforcement, and other competent institutions together with the civil society in curbing malicious activity remains particularly important.
In the times of uncertainty, the public domain is filled with abundance of information – objective knowledge and conspiracy theories, reasonable discussions and deceptive fiction along with attempts to manipulate. Nevertheless, discussion is a feature of a healthy society, so it should be respected and protected as well as other fundamental rights and freedoms.
The Lithuanian intelligence community provides decision-makers with information about societal, political, business, energy, diplomatic, scientific, and other processes in the country and international environment together with assessments on how it impacts Lithuania’s national security. This national Threat Assessment is an unclassified version of our analytical insights on the security tendencies in the region and the world.
We appreciate your attention and hope that this document, prepared and presented by the state security Department and the Defence intelligence and security service under the Ministry of national Defence, will broaden your understanding and knowledge on the main questions of national security.