16 August 2012

Estonia shaken by new Russian spy scandal

From David Martiste, Reuters: Police in Estonia detained a senior security official and his wife on Wednesday on suspicion of spying for former imperial master Russia, the second espionage scandal in the NATO-member Baltic state in recent years. . . .

Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher told the Estonian state-owned broadcaster: "We face one of the world's superpowers, which invests enormous financial resources in espionage, agents of influence, and subversion - especially in its neighbouring countries. . . ."

He [Harrys Puusepp, a spokesman for the Security Police] named the detainees as Aleksei Dressen, an employee of the Security Police, and his wife Viktoria Dressen.

"It is believed that he was passing information to the Russian FSB for some years," he said, referring to Russia's successor to the Soviet-era KGB. . . .

In 2008, Estonians and NATO allies were shocked by the arrest of senior Defence Ministry official Herman Simm for spying for Russia.

Simm was sentenced in 2009 to 12 years in jail after being found guilty of handing over more than 2,000 pages of information, including top secret NATO documents, to his handlers in Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service.

Further reading: Finnish professor jailed for espionage

Further reading: Spying at an all time high in Norway

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