Prague Says Moscow Sent Spies

PRAGUE -- Russian spies operating in the Czech Republic have tried to increase public opposition to a planned U.S. missile-defense facility here, the Czech counterintelligence service said Thursday.

The spies contacted nongovernmental organizations, politicians and the media in the past year about the U.S. missile facility, the Czech Security Information Service, or BIS, said in its annual report. It provided few other details.

The Czech Republic's three intelligence services chiefs have been summoned to the parliament's lower chamber to provide details on the spies at a defense committee meeting Oct. 1, lawmaker Jan Vidim said.

Vidim said he was not surprised at the presence of Russian spies.

"What's surprising is how openly and clearly the BIS says that the Russians have been trying to influence the public. They have to be pretty sure about it," Vidim said.

The agency's report said it believed that the Russian activities were part of a broader, long-term campaign to damage the integrity of the European Union and renew Russian control over the territory in Europe it once dominated, the report said.