Provided the information is true, it comes as unprecedented recognition for the Estonian foreign intelligence agency that was allegedly asked to help stage the operation. The Information Board does not confirm the information in keeping with the rules of the intelligence world.
Former Estonian intelligence coordinator Eerik-Niiles Kross said the meeting in question could have taken place in Prague in late August, early September of last year between Trump's lawyer Micheal Cohen and State Duma delegate Konstantin Kosachev. The claim comes from a dossier on Trump published by BuzzFeed yesterday. The latter reads that Cohen and Kosachev met on the premises of Russia's compatriots policy agency Rossotrudnichestvo in Prague.
Cohen said yesterday that he has never been to Prague, while Trump added that the dossier is not worth the paper it is printed on. Specialists consulted by Postimees also said the dossier needs to be used with a measure of skepticism as a part of the information within is questionable at best, while some claims clash with intelligence principles.
However, utterances by Trump during a press conference held yesterday suggest that at least a part of the information in the dossier came from intelligence agencies. The same conclusion is drawn in the Newsweek article that makes mention of the Information Board. The article also mentions that the intelligence service has warned the Estonian government that Russia poses the greatest threat to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which hardly comes as news for the locals.
The mere possibility the Information Board could have conducted such an operation means our partners hold our foreign intelligence service in high regard, as well as the fact our intelligence has operatives where others do not, which is why they are asked to help.
Postimees spoke to several experts who said that the work of the Information Board has been valued much more highly since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Until then, Estonia and the other Baltic countries had been seen as one-trick ponies that only ever talked about things that lie due east. The attitude of Western intelligence services changed considerably after the annexation of Crimea.
This is why it is no longer rare that foreign heads of state who need up-to-date information on Russia turn to Estonian special services. The reason for this is held to be the fact that Estonia has never lost interest in Russia and has know-how the intelligence agencies of other countries may already have lost.