Estonia Refutes Reports of Espionage on US Administration Officials

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas on Thursday commented on media reports of a Baltic state spying on Washington, saying that Estonia has not been gathering intelligence data on US President Donald Trump’s officials.

TALLINN (Sputnik) — Earlier this week, the Newsweek magazine reported citing undisclosed sources that one of the Baltic nations is collecting the information about Trump’s officials in the White House and in his company, the Trump Organization, amid concerns that if US politics towards Russia change, the region’s sovereignty could be endangered.

"This morning I talked with colleagues from the respective departments and I can definitely say Estonia is not spying on its allies. We highly appreciate the cooperation with NATO," Ratas said at a press conference.

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Ratas also added that the meeting of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis with NATO members’ defense ministers was a good signal for further cooperation between the United States and NATO allies, mentioning that Estonia was positively "distinguished" during the meeting.

Earlier in the day, chairman of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs committee Marko Mihkelson called the Newsweek article "intentional disinformation" in order to "sow distrust between US and Baltic nations’ intelligence services, and in the longer term this may be an attempt to polarize these very important relations."

In January, Newsweek reported that Estonian foreign intelligence listened in on a meeting between an unknown representative of Trump and a member of the Russian parliament in Prague in mid-2015.

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