The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is not in a hurry to exchange abducted Estonian official Eston Kohver and will patiently wait for the right target, Igor Sutyagin, a former prisoner in Russia who was swapped for Russian spied captured by the United States.
“[...] It seems to me that the Kremlin has realized it has gone too far. The case has been more of a local initiative from the beginning, rather than orders from Moscow. Kohver was not only successful against Russian border spies but also in stopping a number of illegal cross-border channels, which on the Russian side are controlled by special service workers,” Sutyagin told Postimees.
Sutyagin said FSB will press Kohver not to appeal as then they can say he has accepted the charges and confessed, and he will have to spend time in Russian prison colonies until authorities can trade him.
Sutyagin was sentenced to 15 years for treason in 2004 while working for the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow. The court ruled that he had disclosed sensitive information to a US intelligence agency. He was exchanged in 2010 for 10 people, including Anna Chapman, arrested in the United States for spying for Russia.
Kohver was abducted from Estonian soil at the beginning of September 2014, and was recently found guilty of espionage and other, smaller, charges. He received 15 years but can still appeal. Kohver pleaded not guilty.
Editor: J.M. Laats