Aleksei Dressen, the former Estonian intelligence employee imprisoned for spying for Russia, said he feels relieved after being exchanged for an Estonian official abducted by Russia.
Dressen, imprisoned for treason for 16 years in 2012 by Estonian courts, was exchanged for Eston Kohver in the early hours of September 26 on the border between the two nations.
“I am feeling happy,” Dressen told Russian media shortly after crossing a bridge on which the exchange happened.
He said he felt assured when he met Russian officials on the Piusa river bridge. “Complete relief. Before that, everything dragged on, and this caused stress," he explained.
Dressen received a pardon by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, while Kohver, who was abducted in September 2014 and sentenced to 15 years in prison in August, was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin in turn.
Dressen's wife was also convicted in 2012 but received only a suspended sentence. Russian media reported she is already living in Russia.
Editor: J.M. Laats