Tänasin täna oma kolleege Euroopa Parlamendis toetuse eest Eston Kohvrile.
I would like to thank you, on behalf of countless Estonians, for your solidarity and active support in helping to free Estonian police officer Eston Kohver from Russian captivity. He was abducted by force from Estonian territory by the Russian secret services on September 5, 2014, and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by a Russian court on August 19, 2015.
The European Parliament's resolution of September 10th, which asked for the immediate and unconditional release of EU citizen Kohver, sent a clear and strong signal of the EU's solidarity and unity to the Kremlin. In Strasbourg, dozens of MEPs wore yellow ribbons in a colorful show of support for their fellow EU citizen, Eston Kohver.
The good news is that Eston Kohver was returned to Estonia and to his family on September 26. Bringing our citizen home was the paramount goal of the Estonian authorities. However, the political price was unequal - Mr. Kohver was formally exchanged for a high-level Russian spy serving a 16 year prison term in Estonia for having providing Russia with sensitive information on Western defenses for a number of years. The President of Estonia had to pardon him in order to secure Kohver's release.
President Putin's decision to release Eston Kohver a few days before the Russian leader's speech at the UN, and before his first meeting with President Obama since the Russian annexation of Crimea, can be seen as an effort to leave the impression of a more moderate approach by the Kremlin.
Let us be encouraged by the knowledge that persistence and solidarity make a difference.
Estonians, Ukrainians and others have demonstrated for one year every Wednesday at the Russian Embassy in Tallinn asking for the release of Eston Kohver, Nadya Savchenko and more recently also for the freedom of Oleg Sentzov and Oleksandr Kolchenko.
Yesterday was Nadya Savchenko's birthday, which she had again to spend in Russian prison.
Let us continue our determined call for the release of these three Ukrainian patriots and all other political prisoners held in Russian jails.
29/09/2015 16:07 - facebook