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Tallin mayor denies accusations of conspiracy with Moscow

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Tallin Mayor Edgar Savisaar denied on Thursday allegations by the Estonian security police (KaPo) that he was Moscow's "agent of influence" in the Baltic state.

Tallin Mayor Edgar Savisaar denied on Thursday allegations by the Estonian security police (KaPo) that he was Moscow's "agent of influence" in the Baltic state.

Estonia's Postimees paper reported on Thursday that the KaPo had sent a letter to the Estonian government, labeling Savisar, who leads the country's main opposition party, a threat to Estonia's national security.

According to the report, the Tallin mayor received $1.5 million from Moscow to "increase Russia's influence on Estonia." The paper noted that this was the exact sum spent on the construction of a Russian Orthodox Church in Tallinn's most populated Lasnamae district.

Savisar told a press conference later on Thursday that the report was an attempt to undermine his Center Party, the second largest in the Estonian parliament, ahead of the forthcoming elections.

"I wasn't aware that helping to construct an Orthodox Church and collecting money for this purpose, posed a threat for the Estonian state," he said. "Before this, I helped to restore a Lutheran church, to build a synagogue and to restore a number of Orthodox churches. This is what mayors do all over the world."

Savisaar's opposition Centre Party enjoys the support of Estonia's Russian-speaking community, which makes up around a quarter of the country's population. The party signed a cooperation agreement with Russia's pro-Kremlin United Russia party in 2004.

TALLINN, December 16 (RIA Novosti)

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