Kohver to be freed this Summer?
The saga of KAPO counter-intelligence agent Eston Kohver, who was arrested on the Russian-Estonian border a few months ago, has reached an impasse. Both countries dispute the side of the border he was found on. Meanwhile, Kohver remains detained in Moscow on Espionage charges. The latest news comes from Kohver’s lawyer, Yevgeni Aksyonov, who was appointed by Russia to Estonian Security Police, who is being detained in a Moscow prison.
Aksyonov said that if all goes according to plan, the court process begins in Pskov in about four months time. “It lasts for about 1-2 months. Then a decision is made and it is followed by silence. And after the silence, Kohver will be in Tallinn at one point. He will be silent at homeland, but he comes back,” said the lawyer.
Estonian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mari-Liis Valter said that it is hard to take Aksyonov’s words seriously, because every time he gives different information and presents a perspective suitable to him. “Some time ago, he said that the court session would take place at the end of 2014, then he spoke of the end of 2015, now about four months,” Valter reminded.
Sausage smugglers stopped on Russian border
Residents of St Petersburg failed to smuggle home food products bought in Estonia, because Russian veterinary authority Rosselhoznadzor confiscated them at the border, according to Estonian Public Broadcasting. Russian officials discovered a total of 155 kg of cheese and 143 kg of sausage products in one working day in the Ivangorod border checkpoint in vans of tourists who returned from visiting Estonia, to import which, they did not have Rosselhoznadzor permits and the required accompanying documents, reported rus.err.ee.
The agency said they found dozens of kilograms of food in every tourist’s luggage.
Under the current rules, a Russian resident can take from Estonia to Russia up to 5 kg of finished products of animal origin (canned food, cooking oil, margarine containing animal fats, sausages and fish products that have been through thermal processing, dairy products and marine products) in branded packages. According Rosselhoznadzor, the confiscated food was returned to Estonia.
This comes at a time when questions have been raised over how far the economic sanctions and counter sanctions have impacted trade between the two economies. The head of the Estonian Food Union Sirje Potisepp, speaking to Postimees Online, said: “We are happy to say, looking back at the year, that no food industry has due to the Russian sanctions faced such difficulties that massive layoffs have to be carried out or termination of operations should be considered.” The situation remains tough.