The swap took place on Saturday on a bridge over the Piusa River that separates Russia’s western Pskov region and Estonia’s Polva county, after which Kohver was taken to Tallinn to make a statement before taking a “vacation” to reunite with family.
Estonian Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur and the ISS held a press conference in Tartu, which was also attended by ISS chief Arnold Sinisalu, and Kohver himself, the Estonian Public Broadcasting reported.
In February 2012, police in Estonia detained Dressen, a longtime security official, on suspicion of spying for Russian Federation.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) put it paid Eston Kohver, an Estonian financial mental and emotional health that officer seized by Russia past years, in replace for Alexei Dressen – an early Estonian endorsed portion a prison terminology as a Russian spy.
Kohver, an ISS employee, was abducted from Estonian territory on September 5, 2014 as claimed by the Estonian authorities, “while investigating cross-border crime”.
There has been speculation that Kohver would be swapped for a Russian spy.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, who turned 36 on Saturday, said the phone call from Pevkur on the release of Kohver was “the best birthday present he could have imagined”.
Russian news agency RIA cited a source in the FSB as saying Dressen had worked for Russian counter-intelligence since the 1990s, transferring information about USA and British spies working in the Baltic countries.
“I am very happy to be back in my homeland”. He was sentenced to 16 years for treason.
The apparent kidnapping of an official from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country has been seen by some commentators as a warning of Russia’s capabilities and intentions in the Baltic states, where tensions have risen since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.