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‘Russian spies working to boost opposition to US base’

Czech counter-intelligence said that Russian spies have worked to boost opposition to a planned US missile defence radar base in the former Communist country.

world Updated: Sep 27, 2008 00:03 IST

Czech counter-intelligence said on Thursday that Russian spies have worked to boost opposition to a planned US missile defence radar base in the former Communist country.

The Czech Republic’s Security Information Service (BIS) said in its 2007 annual report that Russian spies “tried to contact, infiltrate and influence” civic groups, media and politicians in order to spur “the public’s opposition to the radar”.

The agency said “Russian espionage activities in the Czech Republic have currently reached an exceptionally high intensity” and could be part of broader efforts to “disturb (European Union) EU and (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) NATO integrity, isolate the US... and renew control over the lost Soviet security perimeter in Europe”.

The report does not include specific examples of such efforts. A Czech anti-radar group No to Bases rejected earlier this year speculations of being financed by Russian intelligence.

The US is seeking to place a tracking radar in a military zone near Prague and 10 interceptor missiles in neighbouring Poland, despite Russia’s objections.