Nordic, Baltic states urge Russia to free Estonian policeman

Nordic, Baltic Foreign Ministers meet in Copenhagen to demand release of Estonian policeman, Eston Kohver

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Estonian police officer Eston Kohver in a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Pskov, Russia, June 2, 2015.

A meeting was held between Nordic and Baltic Foreign Ministers in Copenhagen on Thursday morning, which aimed to urge Russia to free an Estonian policeman, Eston Kohver, as soon as possible.

Russia arrested Eston Kohver in September of last year, saying he was caught on Russian territory; however, the Estonian government claims he was taken at gunpoint at a border crossing.

Estonian Prime Minister, Taavi Roivas, said on Twitter, "I strongly condemn the verdict on Eston Kohver; his illegal detention constitutes a grave violation of international law by the Russian Federation."

The European Union also said Kohver's detention in Russia was illegal and called for his release.

"Mr Kohver has been deprived of the right to a fair trial: there was no public hearing of the case," EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Federica Mogherini, said in a statement.

"Together with our allies and partners, we intend to keep up international pressure until Eston Kohver is released and has returned home to his family," Estonian Foreign Minister, Marina Kaljurand, said in a statement on August,19.

Estonian police officer Eston Kohver talking to a lawyer

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), said that Kohver was detained carrying a Taurus handgun with ammunition, 5,000 euros ($5,500) in cash, special equipment for concealed audio recording and documents that "bear evidence of an intelligence mission."

According to Tallin’s claims, the policeman Kohver, was arrested while he was trying to stop illegal activities on the border when unidentified abductors jammed radio communications and used smoke grenades to abduct him.

"Mr Kohver's abduction and subsequent illegal detention in Russia constitute a clear violation of international law," the ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuanian, Norway and Sweden said in a joint statement.

"Countering the aggressive disinformation and propaganda with support to capacity-building in free and independent media must remain a key priority," the ministers said


TRTWorld and agencies