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Nordic, Baltic Countries Call For Release Of Kohver, Sentsov

Foreign ministers from Nordic and Baltic countries have called for the immediate release of an Estonian security officer recently sentenced in Russia to 15 years in jail.

Eston Kohver, an officer with the Estonian Internal Security Service, was sentenced on August 19 at a closed-door trial after being found guilty of espionage and illegally crossing the Russian border.

Estonia vehemently denied the charges, saying Kohver was abducted in Estonia a year ago and dragged into Russia.

Meeting in Copenhagen on September 3, the foreign ministers said "Kohver's abduction and subsequent illegal detention in Russia constitute a clear violation of international law."

They also urged Russia to release Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov and his co-defendant Oleksandr Kolchenko, who were sentenced on August 25 to 20 years and 10 years in prison, respectively, on terrorism charges.

The prosecution of Sentsov and Kolchenko has been widely criticized as retaliation for their outspoken opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Based on reporting by dpa