Expulsions of unwanted Russian agents and persons, as well as arrests on charges of conspiring with a foreign power and actions detrimental to the polish state are all part of a new direction for Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW).
“One of the priorities of the new ABW leadership after the 2015 elections was serious work on the issue of the influence of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB),” says Maciej Wąsik, the deputy minister coordinator of special services.
When Law and Justice took over power in 2015, the ABW was in need of proper reconstruction and required immediate dynamic changes. Although there is still much to do, the ABW’s operations have become very efficient.
The ABW’s approach to the Russian issue during the Civic Platform government could be called naïve. This allowed the FSB to infiltrate and work out the intelligence services in the matter of a few months says Wąsik in an interview with Dorota Kania for Gazeta Codzienna weekly.
Today, Russian agent influence is still fairly strong. It’s no secret that it always has been in Poland. As the ABW are gathering more intelligence on the matter of FSB influence, however, their reconnaissance of the issue broadens.
One of the biggest failures of the ABW under Civic Platform rule was the Smoleńsk catastrophe of Aprli 2010 in which president Lech Kaczyński and 95 other Polish officials had died.
It happened on Saturday and ABW officers went to work on Monday as if nothing had gone awry. The full attention of the special services hadn’t been drawn to the issue and it should have.
“This begs the question of whether you could’ve even called them “special services,” Wąsik concludes.