Former Russian agent’s Estonian citizenship revoked

Aleksei Dressen, pictured in 1998. ERR
10/15/2015 11:47 AM
Category: Politics

Government decided on Thursday to strip the Estonian citizenship from a convicted traitor Aleksei Dressen, who was recently exchanged for Eston Kohver.

Dressen originally received Estonian citizenship via naturalization back in 1993, although he had lived in the country for much longer, working as a policeman (called militia) during the Soviet rule.

He was granted citizenship after he started working for the independent Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS or KaPo) in 1993. Dressen managed to become a director of several different units in the ISS and it emerged after his arrest and conviction that he was simultaneously spying for Russia, mainly passing on the secrets from Estonia’s NATO allies, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

Dressen was arrested in February 2012, and subsequently sentenced to 16 years in prison.

In September this year, Dressen received a presidential pardon, as part of the exchange deal between Estonia and Russia. He was swapped for Eston Kohver and now resides in Russia. It is unknown whether he has applied for Russian citizenship.

However, the government's spokesperson told ERR that Dressen had submitted an application to renounce his Estonian citizenship on August 31, almost a month before he was exchanged for Kohver.

S. Tambur

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