United States calls Russia to release Kohver
In a statement issued by the US Ambassador Daniel Brooks Baer to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United States clearly asks Russia to free the abducted Estonian internal security service agent Eston Kohver.
“Nine months have passed since members of the Russian Security Services abducted Estonian police officer Eston Kohver from Estonian territory. His abduction and continued detention on baseless charges raise serious concerns regarding Russia’s compliance with its international legal obligations,” the statement, which was delivered to OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, said.
The ambassador also expressed concern that neither the public nor even the Estonian consul have been allowed to be present during the judicial proceedings, including the recent hearing in Pskov that extended Kohver’s pre-trial detention until August 8, almost a year after he was abducted.
“We call once again on the Russian Federation to release Kohver immediately and to guarantee his safe return to Estonia,” the US representation said.
Kohver is accused by Russian Federation in smuggling, espionage, and illegal border crossing. He was kidnapped from the Estonian-Russian border by Russian special forces on September 5 last year.
Estonian authorities have always maintained that Kohver was in the line of duty and collecting information on cross-border corruption within the framework of an information collection plan in the vicinity of the Estonian-Russian border, when he was abducted. Estonia has also insisted that Kohver's abduction violates international laws.