Estonia: Russian Spy did not Know EU or NATO Secrets

An alleged Russian spy exposed in Estonia did not compromise EU or Nato secrets, Estonia’s intelligence chief has told EUobserver. The Baltic country last week detained Vladimir Veitman, a 63-year-old Estonian intelligence officer, on suspicion of spying for Russia, saying he has confessed to the crime and handed over illicit cash to authorities. . . .

In 2012, Estonia jailed one of its intelligence officers, Aleksei Dressen, for 16 years for spying for its former Soviet master.

In 2009, it jailed Herman Simm, an Estonian defence ministry official, for 12 and a half years on similar charges.

The Simm case has gone down as one of the biggest breaches of EU and Nato secrets in recent history, after Simm handed over 386 EU and Nato-related papers on communication systems, counter-intelligence and defence policy, some of which were classified “confidential” or “secret.”

But Arnold Sinisalu, the director general of Estonia’s internal security service, the Kapo, told this website on Sunday (11 August) that Veitman was less dangerous to Estonia’s allies.

“Veitman had no clearance for Nato or EU classified information … According to our present knowledge, no EU or Nato information was compromised,” he said. . . .

“Information is a tool of influence. Russian intelligence services and their superiors would probably like to see Estonia in their sphere of influence. High ranked Russian officials have publicly said that they don’t like Estonia being a member of Nato and the EU,” the spy chief [Sinisalu] told this website.

Image: "Veitman had no clearance for NATO or EU classified information" (photo: Postimees/Scanpix)