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Lithuania Sentences Russian-Born Sailor To Seven Years For Spying For Moscow

The Klaipeda court said the man gave Russian intelligence classified information about the city's sea terminal and other infrastructure.

A Lithuanian court has sentenced a Russian-born sailor to seven years in prison on charges of spying for Moscow, the latest in a series of espionage-related cases between the two neighboring countries.

The Klaipeda court on April 3 said the Lithuanian citizen gave Russian intelligence classified information about the city's sea terminal and other infrastructure in 2015-17.

The man was identified in local media as sailor mechanic Roman Sesel.

The Russian Embassy's spokesman declined to comment.

Relations between Lithuania, along with fellow Baltic states Estonia and Latvia, remain tense with Russia.

In March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the 15 Soviet republics to declare independence. It joined the European Union and NATO in 2004, as did Latvia and Estonia.

In March, Russia's Foreign Ministry accused Lithuania of "unfriendly and provocative" actions after a Vilnius court found a former Soviet military chief and a senior KGB officer guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The two were sentenced in absentia.

They were the most prominent of 67 defendants in the trial over the momentous events that unfolded in Vilnius in January 1991, when the Soviet government tried to halt the Lithuanian move toward independence.

The other defendants -- all citizens of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine -- were handed prison terms ranging from four to 12 years. Only two of them were present in the courtroom.

In a high-profile 2017 case, a Lithuanian court sentenced Russian citizen Nikolai Filipchenko, identified as an employee of Russia's Federal Security Service, to 10 years in prison for spying.

Based on reporting by AFP and The Baltic Times