Next spy chief: Estonian espionage one of the best ({{commentsTotal}})

Director General of the Estonian Information Board Mikk Marran.
Director General of the Estonian Information Board Mikk Marran. Source: (ERR)

Mikk Marran, the next head of the Information Board, the foreign intelligence agency, said that much is hanging on Estonian intelligence services and Estonia is one of the best at it, especially when it comes to Russia.

He told ETV on Thursday that decisions taken by Estonian state leaders are based on information from Estonian intelligence agencies, adding that much of the intelligence that is used by NATO or EU leaders on Russia or Ukraine, comes from Estonian sources.

“The work done by Estonian intelligence agencies is top rate. It is wanted, it is craved for. People come here to get an overview, we are invited abroad to brief. We know a lot,” Marran said.

He said the information value that the Estonian intelligence agencies add, is related to Russia. “What could possibly interest Estonia more than Russia,” he said, adding that the affairs and events in the western Russian military community are Estonia's specialty.

“I think a great many nations, very many large nations know what is going on in Moscow, how decisions are made in Russia, what the mechanisms are, but if one were to come to our region, across our borders then I believe Estonian espionage agencies have the best information about that,” Marran said.

He added that small nations can thrive in the field of espionage and relations between intelligence agencies are very important. Marran added that in espionage, Estonia is more comparable to a nation of 15-20 million people, rather than its 1.3 million population.

He said Teabeamet, the Estonian name for the Information Board, could be called the Foreign Intelligence Board instead, but adding that a change in name is not a priority for him.

Marran, currently the Defense Ministry permanent secretary, will take over the agency at the beginning of next year. Current chief Rainer Saks will become the secretary general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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