UPDATE: KAPO accuses Savisaar of Russian bias

  • 2010-12-21
  • TBT Staff

Savisaar said he used the money to build a church, and that it was unconnected to upcoming elections.

TALLINN - Estonian intelligence agency KAPO has officially confirmed and declassified a report claiming that Tallinn city mayor Edgar Savisaar accepted substantial funds from Russia in a quickly ballooning pre-election political scandal.

Following an unconfirmed leak of the allegations last week, Prime Minister had said Savisaar's acceptance of the money was "loathsome", while EU and independent commentors have said the move was "undemocratic".

The now-declassified report claims that Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin promised Mayor of Tallinn 1.5 million euros to support his political party in Estonia's parliamentary elections in March.

Savisaar - who claims that the funds were to build a church and had nothing to do with the upcoming elections - has lashed out against the allegations, claiming that KAPO was working in conjunction with Russian intelligence organizations.

"The fact that some forces in Russia want to eliminate Savisaar, who is defending the interests of Estonia, is not news to people who know recent history. But the fact that they use support from the Estonian secret services is a scandal of at least the same magnitude as the attack on the construction of a church just before Christmas," Savisaar said.

Savisaar, a major player in Estonia's independence movement and a staple member of the political process since, is the mayor of Tallinn and head the the opposition Center Party.