17:18 GMT28 January 2020
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    Tallinn mayor denies doing Russia's bidding

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    Tallinn mayor and Estonian opposition leader Edgar Savisaar denied on Thursday accusations that he is an "agent of influence" of Moscow.

    Tallinn mayor and Estonian opposition leader Edgar Savisaar denied on Thursday accusations that he is an "agent of influence" of Moscow.

    Estonia's security police (KaPo) have branded Savisaar an "agent of influence" Moscow's in a report to the country's government, the local Postimees newspaper said. Savisaar has been identified in counterintelligence reports as a "security threat" since June, the paper said.

    The latest report suggests that the mayor received $1.5 million from Moscow to "increase Russia's influence in 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.

    "This is the first time I have heard that participating in the construction of a Russian Orthodox church and collecting money for this constitutes a threat to the Estonian state," Savisaar said. "Before this I helped in the restoration of a Lutheran church, the construction of a synagogue, and the restoration of Orthodox churches. City halls around the world are involved in such matters."

    Savisaar called the publication of the report an attempt to discredit his Center Party ahead of parliamentary elections in March 2011 and sees no danger to the state in helping to build an Orthodox church.

    Savisaar's party is the second largest in the Estonian parliament and enjoys the support of the country's Russian-speaking community. In December 2004, the party signed a cooperation agreement with Russia's pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

    TALLINN, December 16 (RIA Novosti)

     

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