Estonia accuses Russia of kidnapping security official

Russia said it detained Eston Kohver. Kohver, right, is pictured in 2010 with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Story highlights

  • Estonia's foreign minister says unidentified Russia individuals are behind abduction
  • "We expect all manner of help and cooperation" from Russia, minister says
  • Russia says it detained a security official in its northwest Pskov region
  • It identified the official as Eston Kohver
Estonia summoned Russia's ambassador on Friday to demand an explanation regarding what it described as the abduction of a security official near its joint border.
The news came the same day Russia announced it had detained an Estonia security officer in its northwest Pskov region, where Russian officials allege he was carrying out an undercover operation, according to a report from state-run news agency Itar-Tass.
The dueling claims follow mounting tensions between the two nations. Just days earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Estonia, where he promised to protect the Baltic nation against Russian aggression.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet called the abduction of the Internal Security Service official by unidentified individuals from Russia, near the Luhamaa border checkpoint, a "very disturbing incident."
"We expect to receive all manner of help and cooperation necessary from Russia in solving this case and bringing the Estonian citizen back to Estonia," Paet said, according to the Estonian Foreign Ministry.
Neither Paet nor the Foreign Ministry provided details as to how they know the individuals are Russian.
Meanwhile, Russia confirmed it detained a man named Eston Kohver, who its security service, known as the FSB, said was detained on Russian soil.
The Estonian officer "had a Taurus handgun, an amount of €5,000 in cash, equipment for covert audio recording, and materials indicative of an intelligence mission," Itar-Tass reported, citing the FSB.