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Media: Latvian MEP Ždanoka worked for FSB for at least 15 years

The Insider revealed that Tatjana Ždanoka, a Latvian member of the European Parliament, has been an agent of Russian intelligence from at least 2004 to 2017, based on leaked emails.
FSB logo and MEP Tatjana Ždanoka. Collage: The Insider
Media: Latvian MEP Ždanoka worked for FSB for at least 15 years

The investigative report conducted by The Insider, in collaboration with Delfi Estonia, Latvia’s Re:Baltica, and Sweden’s Expressen, has brought to light that Tatjana Ždanoka, a Latvian member of the European Parliament, has been significantly linked to Russian intelligence since at least 2005.

“Leaked emails between Ždanoka and her two known Russian case officers include explicit, detailed reports from Ždanoka to her handlers describing her work as a European legislator, particularly as those official duties relate to fostering pro-Kremlin sentiment in her native Baltic region,” The Insider wrote.

Furthermore, the correspondence included discussions about organizing meetings in Moscow or Brussels with her handlers and requests for Russian financial support for her political endeavors in Latvia and the European Parliament, according to The Insider. One notable request was for funds to organize a rally commemorating the Red Army’s victory in World War II, indicating a direct effort to foster a narrative favorable to Russian interests in her work.

The Insider says it has documented Tatjana Ždanoka’s two case officers of the FSB, the Russian security service, the successor to the Soviet-times KGB. The leaked emails reportedly showed that her first documented handler, an FSB veteran from the St. Petersburg central directorate named Dmitry Gladey, aged 74, was involved with Ždanoka from around 2004 to 2013. After Gladey, Ždanoka’s contact shifted to Sergei Beltyukov, who has been an operative with the FSB since 1993. 

Ždanoka’s response to investigation

“I cannot consider this text to be questions put to me because it is based on information that you supposedly have, which by definition, you should not have,” MEP Ždanoka reportedly claimed in an emailed response to The Insider.

When The Insider asked Tatjana Ždanoka about Sergei Beltyukov, she said she couldn’t recall anyone by that name, suggesting he might have used the alias “Sergey Krasin.” According to The Insider, further inquiries about meeting someone with this alias went unanswered by Ždanoka before the story’s publication.

Ždanoka admitted to knowing Dmitry Gladey since the 1970s but denied knowledge of his spy activities. She claimed to have only knowingly interacted with confirmed Russian FSB officers Vladimir Putin and Sergei Naryshkin, the latter being the SVR director.

The Insider noted that the involvement of Tatjana Ždanoka with the FSB based in St. Petersburg has attracted the attention of Latvia’s State Security Service. Responding to such concerns, on 22 June 2022, the Latvian parliament enacted an amendment to bar individuals and political groups with pro-Kremlin leanings from seeking office. Ždanoka was widely recognized as this legislative change’s primary, if not exclusive, target, The Insider said. Consequently, Ždanoka is ineligible to be a candidate in the upcoming European Parliamentary election.

The future of Tatjana Ždanoka in Latvia remains uncertain. With five months remaining in her last term as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), she currently enjoys parliamentary immunity, shielding her from prosecution, including within Latvia. 

“And it is unclear whether or not Riga plans to open a criminal counterintelligence investigation into Ždanoka’s activities based on the documentary evidence,” The Insider says.










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