Foreign visits needing security clearance notification quadruples

SDE leader and Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets.
SDE leader and Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) has listed those countries where any Estonian citizen with security clearance to access state secrets is required to give notification ahead of any stay, outside a work or work-related task.

The listed has quadrupled in size, from three, to 12 and now comprises: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, People's Republic of China (including the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Minister Läänemets notes in his directive on the matter that due to the activities of foreign security agencies from the above states, the presence of a natural person – a legally defined term – with clearance to Estonian state secrets being in the territory of these states poses a threat to the protection of this classified information.

The new directive revokes its predecessor from June 2, 2015, which listed only Russia, Belarus and North Korea.

The Minister of the Interior has also tasked the Internal Security Service (ISS) with organizing the announcement of this directive to the relevant individuals, ie. those with security clearance to access state secrets.

According to Latvian public broadcaster LSM's English-language page, the foreign ministry there says Russia is seeking to punish Latvian officials who have stood up to its illegal invasion of Ukraine, not only in Russia itself but also in some Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations (most of the former Soviet Republics, minus the independent nations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Georgia) and in some other countries on good terms with the Kremlin.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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