Estonian officials said Tuesday they had met with Eston Kohver, the Estonian security officer at the center of rising tension between Tallinn and Moscow, who is being held in a Russian jail accused of spying.
How and where Mr. Kohver was detained on Friday is disputed, with Estonia saying he was abducted from its soil and taken over the border into Russia. The Russian version of events is that he was detained while on a spying mission inside Russia.
The incident came just two days after President Barack Obamacame to Estonia and vowed to defend it as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The Estonian consul in Moscow has met Mr. Kohver and received assurances that the Estonian Internal Security Service (KAPO) officer is in good health given the circumstances, Estonia Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said.
“It is important that Mr. Kohver got assurance that we are backing him,” Mr. Paet said.
Mr. Kohver hasn’t been officially told what he stands accused of, Mr. Paet said. The foreign minister said Mr. Kohver is suspected of espionage, illegal border crossing and bringing a firearm over the border illegally.
“Our wish is to get him back,” Mr. Paet said.
Mr. Paet said Mr. Kohver can communicate with the consul via telephone, but the consul needs official permission to meet with him.
The Estonian foreign ministry is trying to hire a lawyer to represent Mr. Kohver in court, but Mr. Paet said this was proving difficult.