Estonian Intelligence Official Confesses to Spying for Russia

The Estonian Internal Security Service (KaPo) has detained one of its own former officials, Vladimir Veitman, whom the agency suspects of having gathered classified information for years on behalf of a Russian intelligence service. Detained on Wednesday, the former KGB official joined the Estonian intelligence service in 1991. He worked there as a specialist with clearance to classified information until he retired in 2011. Officials said he secretly worked for a Russian intelligence service up until his retirement, but would not yet reveal how long he had been an agent for. Nor would the Internal Security Service reveal which organization and who specifically had recruited Veitman.

According to officials, Veitman has admitted to the suspicions in questioning. Authorities have also recovered significant sums of cash related to the suspicions from various stashes. . . .

At a press conference on Friday, Internal Security Service Director Arnold Sinisalu said Russia continues to ‘aggressively’ attempt to recruit agents in Estonia. He referenced Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s recent remark in the media that Russia is not happy that the Baltics are NATO members. . . .

Then head of the Internal Security Service, Raivo Aeg, last year expressed concern over growing numbers of agent recruitment attempts by Russia’s intelligence services.

“Russian secret services have seemingly refused to admit that Estonia and other former occupied countries have now become irreversibly foreign for them, not part of Russia or conceptually part of the Soviet Union,” he  said in an Eesti Ekspress article last autumn.

From AFP:  “Veitman has confessed that he spied for Russia but we are not going to release more details at the moment,” he [Sinisalu] said. . . .

In July 2012, former senior Estonian security police official Aleksei Dressen was found guilty of spying for Russia and sentenced to 16 years behind bars.

His wife Viktoria Dressen was also convicted of treason and handed a suspended six-year sentence.

Another Estonian, Herman Simm, was jailed in 2009 for 12 and a half years for selling NATO secrets to Russia.

His position as a senior defence ministry official had given him the highest level access to NATO secrets in Estonia for years.

Image: Internal Security Service Director Arnold Sinisalu (photo: Estonia's Ministry of the Interior)