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Leaked correspondence sheds light on links between Latvian MEP and FSB

Tatyana Zhdanok (Tatjana Ždanoka).
Tatyana Zhdanok (Tatjana Ždanoka). Source: SCANPIX/LETA/Zane Bitere

Independent Russian investigative site The Insider has made public emails describing cooperation between Latvian MEP Tatyana Zhdanok and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). According to the publication, Zhdanok's cooperation with Russian intelligence started decades ago and she had at least two contacts.

Zhdanok has been a member of the European Parliament since 2004 and her pro-Russian statements have been raising questions for years. She has consistently made claims that Estonia and Latvia are persecuting their Russian minorities and was critical of the decision to relocate the Bronze Soldier monument.

The Insider shared its findings with an investigative journalism consortium made up of Delfi, Re:Baltica and Expressen, writing that Zhdanok's alleged cooperation with Russian intelligence goes at least as far back as 2005.

The leaked email correspondence is between Zhdanok and her contacts in the FSB with whom she allegedly shared information on projects and plans. On at least one occasion, Zhdanok asked for funds to organize a meeting to celebrate the Red Army's victory.

According to the The Insider, Zhdanok's two contacts have served as FSB intelligence officers the first of whom was Dmitry Gladey. Their cooperation started in 2004 and ended in 2013 when Zhdanok started talking to Sergei Beltyukov.

Zhdanok said that she has met with thousands of people and does not remember anyone called Beltyukov. This could be because the latter used the pseudonym of Sergey Krasin.

The MEP did admit to knowing Gladey, having met him back in the 1970s. But she said that she did not know Gladey was an intelligence officer.

The Insider reports that Gladey has access to Russia's state secrets. One of the leaked email messages describes a conference held in Estonia and backed by the Greens-European Free Alliance group of the European Parliament and the European Russian Alliance.

The Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) said back in 2005 that the European Russian Alliance might be directly tied to the FSB. An anonymous Western intelligence officer has suggested the ISS might not be the only European security service that takes this view. It is somewhat ironic that the organization has been funded by European taxpayers.

The Insider's leak was first published in Estonia by Eesti Päevaleht.

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Editor: Karl Kivil, Marcus Turovski

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