EU issues call for immediate release of Kohver
Today is the six-month anniversary of the abduction of an Estonian counterintelligence officer by Russia from Estonian soil, and Eston Kohver has received political support from a high level as the EU issued a statement calling for his immediate release.
A spokesperson for the European External Action Service issued a statement on Wednesday, March 4, saying: "Despite repeated requests, the Russian authorities have failed to resolve the issue. The EU calls for immediate release of Mr Kohver and his safe return to Estonia."
Significantly, the statement did not use qualified language on the matter of exactly where in relation to the border Kohver was abducted, saying he was taken from the Estonian side and using the word "abduction."
The statement was echoed by Urmas Paet, an Estonian member of European Parliament, in a tweet.
Kohver was seized last September 4 in southern Estonia, in what is believed to be a political message sent by Russia two days after US President Barack Obama visited Estonia. In the days after the incident, lower-level Estonian and Russan border guards established that agents crossed over from the Russian side, using diversionary tactics such as smoke grenades. Kohver was subsequently paraded before cameras at his arraignment. He continues to be held at the federal Lefertovo prison in Moscow.