Lithuanian MP Irina Rozova says the State Security Department (VSD) did not warn her against attending an event of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) that sparked protests in Georgia in June.
Irina Rozova
© DELFI (K.Čachovskio nuotr.)

"No, I hadn't," the Russian Alliance's lawmaker, who is a member of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance political group in the Seimas, told BNS on Friday when asked if she had been warned by the intelligence agency against attending the event.

Rozova says she did not know about the IAO until she receives her first invitation to attend the organization's event last year. She obtained the green light from the Seimas Board to go to the event both last year and this year.

"An invitation came to me; I received an email, in English. It was from the secretariat of the organization that is headquartered in Greece. (It was signed by) the secretary-general who is a Greek, a member of the Greek parliament," she said.

Rozova says she does not know whether VSD provided any information about the IAO event to the Seimas Board or other MPs.

A speech by Sergey Gavrilov, a member of the Russian Duma, during the assembly event in Tbilisi sparked massive protests across Georgia.

In a letter to Lithuanian MPs, Giorgi Kandelaki, deputy chairman of the Georgian parliament's European Integration Committee, said the IAO "has been recently dominated by Moscow", and involvement in its activity only helps Russia to implement its agenda.

The letter prompted MPs of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats to ask VSD for its opinion about Rozova's participation in the event.

Rozova notes that the two-day event was attended by parliamentarians from almost 30 countries, including Estonia. Latvia was not represented this year.

"There was a grand opening; the entire diplomatic corps were present at the presidential palace. There was a concert; an exhibition dedicated to the birth of Jesus Christ was opened; we were all in a cheerful mood and fond of each other," the lawmaker said.

"The next day, a parliamentary sitting began and all this got going: some people came, we didn't understand who they were. It turned out they were the Georgian opposition who objected to the presence of the Russian delegation in the hall," she added.

According to Rozova, the participants of the event left for their hotel after the uproar started.

"We left and just stayed at the hotel. Later, there was some unrest at the hotel, too, and everybody then moved to the parliament," she said.

Rozova declined to comment on the conservatives' request to VST.

The lawmaker noted that it was "not the first time in my biography" that she was asked for an explanation about her participation in controversial events.

Back in 2007, Rozova who attended a conference in Tallinn where a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin was signed, asking him "to defend the rights of Russian speakers in the Baltic countries".

She was a member of the Seimas then but did not ask for the Board's permission to attend the conference.

The Lithuanian MP then said she had not signed the letter.

"It was ten years ago. It doesn't matter," she said when asked to give more details about the 2007 event.

BNS
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