Betrayal in Estonia? NATO Claims a Russian Spy

A former Estonian defense official has been arrested for allegedly selling NATO and European Union secrets to Russia, reports Der Spiegel.

Herman Simm, the accused official, has been under surveillance for months and was arrested in September, although news of the arrest is only just becoming public knowledge.

Upon Estonia’s acceptance into the EU in 2004, Simm was responsible for setting up and running a system to handle the country’s classified information, including top-secret documents from NATO allies, information about Russia’s war in Georgia, and the controversial U.S. missile defense program.

State officials believe the KGB recruited Simm in the 80s, before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

NATO and EU officials are investigating the extent of the alleged betrayal.

Simm’s contact is believed to be a spy with a fake Spanish identity.

The former chief of Estonia’s police, Simm was also in charge of security clearances for people in national security roles.

Simm, 61, is accused of sending classified information to Russian intelligence using a radio transmitter, the article said.

Officials in Estonia and Germany have described the treason as “catastrophic,” a case of “historic damage.”

–Julia Hengst/


“Estonian Spy Scandal Shakes NATO and EU”
Der Spiegel, November 17, 2008

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