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 Russia and Estonia swap convicted spies on remote border bridge. PHOTOS

Russia and Estonia exchanged two convicted spies near the border between the two countries.

Censor.NET reports citing Mail Online.

Russia and Estonia exchanged two convicted spies in a scene which could have been taken out of a Cold War thriller.

Security officials from both nations met in the middle on a bridge over the river Piusa, which forms the border between Estonia and Russia in the remote area south of Lake Peipus.

Russia handed over Eston Kohver, an Estonian security officer sentenced to 15 years for espionage earlier this month, and Estonia exchanged him for Alexei Dressen, an ex-Estonian official serving a 16-year jail term for being a Russian spy.

Read more: Svoboda party is Kremlin's agent, Minister of Interior Avakov says

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The exchange took place in the wake of heightened tensions between the two nations after Kohver arrest last year and subsequent conviction.

Russia sentenced him last month to 15 years hard labour, provoking condemnation from Western governments as well as Estonia.

Estonia said the 44-year-old was abducted on the Estonian side of the frontier but Russia said he had been caught on its territory carrying a pistol and ammunition, 5,000 euros in cash and spying equipment.

The regional court in the western city of Pskov found Kohver guilty of spying, arms smuggling and violating border regulations and ruled to send him to a high-security prison.

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Estonian authorities say Kohver, 44, was investigating a smuggling operation involving agents from the Russian intelligence agency when unidentified abductors jammed radio communications and used smoke grenades.

 
 
 
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