Estonia jails citizen for spying for Russia
An Estonian court has jailed a former employee of the Baltic state’s counter-intelligence service for spying for Russia, according to court documents seen Friday by AFP.
The Harju county court found Estonian citizen Vladimir Kulikov, 51, guilty of engaging in relations against the country’s interests and of espionage and sentenced him in September to five years in prison, the documents said.
Kulikov, who is fluent in Russian, was detained in March.
He had worked at the Estonian internal security service ISS from the early 1990s to 2012 when he quit because of an injury sustained on the job. He then became a martial arts instructor.
ISS said in March that it had advised Kulikov not to travel to Russia but he did anyway and was contacted there by Russian special services.
Estonia and its fellow Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania have strained relations with neighbouring Russia.
Moscow occupied and annexed the trio during World War II.
They only broke free from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991 and joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.
Tensions between the Baltic states and Moscow have heightened since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.
The Baltic states have since seen a string of espionage allegations involving Russia’s intelligence service.