ISS: We have no information about physical contact between EKRE, Prigozhin

Harrys Puusepp,
Harrys Puusepp, Source: Patrik Tamm / ERR

Estonia's Internal Security Service (ISS) has no information about physical contact between EKRE and the head of Wagner's private army Yevgeny Prigozhin, the service's Head of Bureau Harrys Puusepp said on Monday, in response to an article published by Politico at the weekend.

"We're aware of the material that's in that POLITICO story. We recognized the opportunistic handwriting of Kremlin influence there, which means that, in addition to the tensions they themselves are trying to create here, there are already existing contradictions in society," said Puusepp.

The official said it is important to note that people who are at risk of exploitation may not always aware of it.

"Today we can say that we don't have any record of physical contact," he told Monday's "Ringvaade".

"It cannot be ruled out that people have found a story that suits them and they think that it suits them to amplify it. They try to find ways of doing it. Either it is done in such a way that it is visible to the public, that is to say, the Russian officials say that is true or it is done in a different way so that the Kremlin's fingerprints are not so clearly visible. In the case of this project, though, it seems to have remained in the virtual phase," Puusepp said.

The U.S. media outlet published a story on Saturday that said leaked documents show that the paramilitary chief tried to interfere in the European Parliament election in 2019 using social media.

However, Politico said it is unclear whether any attempts were made as no accounts were created in the planned name stated in the documents.

EKRE Chairman Martin Helme dismissed the story as "fake news" on Sunday.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright

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