Russia says detained Estonian police officer is a spy

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Russia claims it detained an Estonian policeman for “intelligence gathering”, but Tallinn has accused Moscow of abducting him.

The Estonian officer, Eston Kohver, was placed behind bars after a Moscow court approved his arrest, heightening tensions between European Union member Estonia and its powerful neighbour.

Russian state television on Saturday showed the grim-faced and handcuffed policeman being led into court by masked security officers.

Russia’s FSB security service said in a statement it had detained Kohver in north-western Russia, close to the Estonian border, on Friday as he attempted to carry out an “undercover operation”.

But prosecutors in Talinn said Kohver was abducted at gunpoint from Estonian territory by Russians who detonated a smoke grenade and jammed radio communications. They said he had been investigating cross-border crime.

The FSB said Kohver was found in possession of a pistol, ammunition, €5,000 (£3,970), “special equipment to carry out covert recording” and “materials that seem to be assignments for an intelligence-gathering mission”.

It claimed Kohver works for Estonia’s powerful security police, which oversees internal security and intelligence. “Kohver has been..

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