Czechs respond to Nato spying allegations

PRAGUE, Mar 13, 2000 -- (RFE/RL) Jaroslav Basta, minister without portfolio in charge of the secret services, said on 9 March that "it cannot be ruled out" that the alleged leak of information from NATO headquarters to Belgrade during the air strikes against Yugoslavia is connected with the Czech Republic, CTK reported.

Following British media reports that a spy in NATO provided the Serbs with the secret plans of bombing targets, the BBC reported on 9 March that British Member of Parliament Menzies Campbell alleged that "some of the Czech security services were still in fairly intimate contacts with their old friends in Moscow."

A NATO spokesman has denied the report. A Czech Defense Ministry official said the ministry has "no information" on the matter, and Foreign Minister Jan Kavan said that from his own experience he knows that "in politics, absolutely everything is possible, but we are in the realm of pure speculation."

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