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Russia Summons Norway's Ambassador After Arrest Of Man On Espionage Charges

September 24, 2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned Norway's ambassador to protest the arrest of a Russian citizen outside Oslo on suspicion of spying.

Norwegian authorities said on September 23 that they had detained a Russian citizen on suspicion of illegal intelligence activities at Gardermoen airport outside the capital city on September 21.

The Norwegian News Agency reported that the man was placed in custody after a hearing at Oslo District Court on September 22 and would be held for two weeks due to the risk of destruction of evidence.

"We demanded ... the immediate lifting of the absurd charges, and his release," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on September 24.

The ministry gave the name of the arrested man as M.A. Bochkaryov.

The man is suspected of conducting illegal intelligence work after attending a seminar on digitization at the Norwegian parliament last week.

On its Facebook page, the Russian Embassy in Oslo said the detention was "based on an absurd pretext."

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the case was not political and was "a police matter that is being investigated."

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-summons-norway-- ambassador-arrest--man-espionage/29507368.html

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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