Estonia 'concerned' about reported wiretapping of embassies in Georgia

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonia's ambassador to Georgia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have expressed "concern" about reports the Georgian security service has wiretapped diplomatic missions in the country.

Last month, Georgia was hit by a scandal when thousands of alleged security service files were leaked, seeming to document widescale and long-running state surveillance of journalists, clergymen, diplomats, and others.

Estonia's ambassador to Georgia and Armenia Riina Kaljurand wrote on October 4 that a representative group of ambassadors accredited in Georgia had met with the Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs David Zalkaliani and expressed "grave concerns".

Estonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its concern in a message on Twitter on Wednesday.

"It would amount to a serious breach of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations compromising normal diplomatic work in Georgia," the statement said.

Estonia was one of several countries to express concern and issue a joint statement after a meeting of ambassadors on October 4. The message was published by Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.

Many of the recordings focused on the Georgian Orthodox Church, website RFE/RL reported.

Although the authenticity of the leaks from a whistle-blower has not been officially confirmed, they appeared to show the State Security Service eavesdropped on Hartzell, US diplomats, Israel's ambassador, and other diplomatic missions in Tbilisi.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has downplayed the spying allegations.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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