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U.S. Calls On Russia To Release Estonian Official

The U.S. State Department has called on Russia to release an Estonian Interior Ministry officer seized near the Russian border.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on September 9 that Eston Kohver should be "safely" and "immediately" returned to Estonia by Russian officials.

Kohver was ordered by a Moscow court on September 6 to be held in pretrial detention on espionage charges while his case is investigated.

Russia says he was seized inside Russia on September 5, while Estonian officials say he was captured at gunpoint near the border and taken to Russia.

Estonia says the group of Russians who abducted Kohver used a smoke grenade and jammed radio communications.

Estonia's Foreign Ministry called the case "very disturbing" and summoned Russia's ambassador in Tallinn, Yury Merzlakov, for an explanation.