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Employees of the Finnish Security Service have reportedly been approached by the Russian Federal Security Service.“THE intelligence agencies of Finland, Sweden and Estonia are concerned with Russia’s Federal Security Service FSB’s increasing interest in tempting citizens of other countries as spies.

A few years back Herman Simm, former Chief of Estonia’s Defence Ministry’s Security Department in charge of Estonia’s Nato secrets, was seized in Estonia. He had conveyed secrets to Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service SVR for twelve years.

When the Soviet Union’s legendary national security agency KGB was divided as the country disintegrated, foreign intelligence was intended to remain solely within the hands of SVR.

Finland, Sweden and Estonia’s security services have observed that officials and business men have been recruited by FSB, and the recruits travel to Russia. According to Estonia’s Security Police (KaPo) FDB has targeted also KaPo’s employees who work against espionage. Apparently this also includes the Finnish and Swedish Security Services’ (Supo and Säpo respectively) employees. FSB has targeted diplomats and officials working for Nato and EU in Brussels in particular.

‘Aggressiveness has increased. This year we have uncovered over 30 per cent more attempts of approach when compared with last year,’ Head Director of KaPo Raivo Aeg says, but does not reveal figures.

Supo has entries in two annual reports of Finnish officials and business men being victim of ‘increasingly aggressive’ intelligence operations abroad. This basically refers to Russia.

KaPo tells of its own employees having been tempted likewise, but neither Supo nor Säpo confirm or deny this. In their annual reports and information events they speak of FSB’s recruitment activities in general, but Finnish and Swedish intelligence services have most likely also been targets for FSB.

‘The role of FSB is disconcerting, for it has grown. Security police are of interest to FSB, but we don’t want to comment on any recruitment activity by FSB in Säpo,’ says Director-General and Chief of Säpo, Anders Thornberg.”

HELSINGIN SANOMAT 16 December
LEHTIKUVA / PEKKA SAKKI

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