Schoolchildren who have returned from military camps in Russia are being monitored by security officers in Lithuania, Gediminas Grina, head of the State Security Department, said on Monday.
School girl from Lithuania at a Russian military camp
© Socialinio tinklo nuotr.

"Such people are in principle the object of our monitoring," he told journalists after a meeting with Education and Science Minister Dainius Pavalkis.

In his words, the SSD's task in this case is monitoring.

"(…) we need to know who is going, where to and why, what they can do upon their return, whether they are arming themselves, are being trained to shoot or not to shoot," Grina said, adding that the media reports last week that schoolchildren are going to Russia was no news.

"We are constantly monitoring third countries' attempts to influence our citizens and our schoolchildren are no exception," he said.

The 15min.lt new website has reported that senior schoolchildren from Vilnius Sofija Kovalevskaja Secondary School and Vasilijus Kačialovas Gymnasium are regularly taken to paramilitary camps in Russia.

The Ministry of Education and Science and Vilnius Municipality have already launched an investigation into such reports.

More than two schools involved

Grina also said that there may have been more than two schools involved in the activities.

"Perhaps the education system has not done everything what it could have, maybe the State Security Department could have done something, but the primary goal was to co-ordinate our position, actions, the exchange of information and what to do next," Minister Pavalkis told the journalists after the meeting.

Grina revealed that security officers have met with parents of some of the children that attended "Soyuz" camps in Russia. Grina said that the issue involves not only two schools, but did not go into detail on how many schools may be involved or from what cities.

Minister of education said he was against the "iron curtain" and restrictions of foreign travel. "Surely I will not be the one to forbid them to travel. Perhaps some will travel and others will study there," the minister said. According to Pavalkis, in order to avoid similar incidents, responsibility of the heads of schools may be tightened, rotation or additional attestation introduced. So far there are no plans to fire the teachers, he said.

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