LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s director of international espionage accused the United States and Poland on Thursday of conspiring to gain a sphere of influence in Ukraine, a claim Warsaw denied as disinformation aimed at sowing distrust between Kiev supporters.
Sergei Naryshkin, director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), cited unpublished intelligence that he said showed that the United States and Poland, NATO allies, were plotting to restore Polish control over the West. from Ukraine.
“According to intelligence information received by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Washington and Warsaw are working on plans to establish Poland’s political and military control over its historic properties in Ukraine,” Naryshkin said in a rare statement published by SVR.
Poland denied the claim and said it was disinformation spread by Moscow.
“Lies about Poland’s alleged plans to attack western Ukraine have been repeated for years,” said Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman for Poland’s special services coordination.
“The purpose of Russian propaganda is to fuel distrust between Ukraine and Poland, to undermine cooperation between the two countries.”
Poland once ruled some territories that are now part of Ukraine at different times in the past, most recently between the two world wars. Western Ukraine, including the city of Lviv, was absorbed into the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge)