No link between Skripal and Estonian spy cases, says security service ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian Internal Security Service badge.
Estonian Internal Security Service badge. Source: ERR

There is no connection between the UK Skripal poisoning case and the spy scandal exposed in Estonia in September, the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS) said on Friday.

"[The] Skripal [case] has no connection with any of those exposed in Estonia," the ISS stated on a social media page, referring to German and US media reports that information provided to Estonia by Skripal led to the arrest of former Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) officer Deniss Metsavas and his father Pjotr Volin, on Wednesday, 5 September.

German magazine Focus reported on Friday that Skripal provided the ISS with intelligence on Russian Federation spies when he visited Estonia in summer 2016.

New York Times noted Skripal had visited Estonia

This echoed a report in the New York Times in May saying that after the Russian Federation pardoned retired Russian military intelligence (GRU) agent Sergei Skripal in 2010, he toured several European countries, providing information to their security services. Mr. Skripal settled in Salisbury, UK, after his release from prison, reportedly purchasing a house there in 2011.

Russia incarcerated Mr. Skripal in 2004, charged with colluding with Britain's
Secret Intelligence Service (SIS – popularly called 'MI6') in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He had officially retired from the GRU in 1999.

On 4 March 2018 Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia, on a visit from Moscow, were poisoned with  A-234  Novichok nerve agent, according to official UK sources. Mr. Skripal was released from hospital in May but still requires extensive treatment.

Britain holds Russia responsible

The British government has said it holds Russian intelligence services responsible for the attack. Two alleged Russian agents with the identities of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, in the UK when the poisoning happened, were to be charged by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service in absentia, as announced on 5 September, the same day as Metsavas' and Volin's apprehension.

Metsavas and Volin were arrested and placed in custody by Harju County Court in Tallinn at the request of the Office of the Prosecutor Gerneral, charged with passing classified information on Estonia and its allies to the GRU.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: BNS



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