Intelligence report: Lithuania blocks Russian investment due to sensitive data collection

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Lithuania has blocked an investment by a Russian holding company in a local firm that could be used to collect cartographic data for the Russian Armed Forces.

Sistema, a holding company controlled by Russian oligarchVladimir Yevtushenkov, bought a Lithuanian aero-scanning and mapping firm through an investment company owned by his son, the State Security Department and the Second Investigation Department under the Defense Ministry said in their National Threat Assessment 2019 report.

At the same time, Sistema controlled Kronstadt, a Russian company that several years ago won a contract for setting up digital cartographic data centers.

“It is highly likely that Russian entities sought to obtain the cover of an EU-based company and to conceal the collection of data for the Russian Armed Forces,” the agencies said.

“The scheme corresponds to modus operandi of the Russian intelligence and security services that employ local (EU) companies in their activities against national security interests of EU countries,” they said.

According to the report, Russia seeks to collect more cartographic data to enable an efficient use of new missile launching systems.

Since the Lithuanian company that was indirectly acquired by Sistema operates in a strategically important economic sector, the authorities decided that the investor does not meet Lithuania’s national security interests.

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