Former ERR Moscow Correspondent Says Estonia Should Release Evidence in Border Incident to Establish Truth
Estonia should disclose as much as evidence as it can in the case of the captured security officer to keep the objective Western press from entertaining the possibility that the Russian version is equally valid, said Krister Paris.
"We're getting a taste, writ small, of what Ukrainians have experienced on a broad front since February," wrote Krister Paris in an opinion in Eesti Päevaleht. With the invasion of Ukraine, Paris says, "Russia always has its own version to leave doubt hanging in the air. The Western media will keep on using the term abducted [in the case of the security officer apparently kidnapped from Estonia's side of the border on Friday] in quotation marks, as it is only the statement of one of the sides, just like the BBC still uses quotation marks to refer to Russian units in Ukraine."
"Estonia must dispel doubts that any normal Western journalist will be quick to develop," and "only maximum disclosure will help, beyond what is the norm in typical covert operations," he wrote.
Before the Russians threw the book at security police officer Eston Kohver, it would have been possible to deport him while still saving face, but an espionage charge is something completely different, he wrote.
If Estonia doesn't pony up evidence, Paris warns, the only other option to get Kohver back may be to implicitly accept the Russian version and agree on a high-level prisoner swap.