Norway Expels Russian Diplomat Amid Espionage Allegations
Irina Acheeva. Sputnik International
10:31 GMT 19.08.2020(updated 14:07 GMT 19.08.2020)
Police in Norway detained a 50-year-old Norwegian male, accused of giving secret information to a foreign country that "could harm Norway's fundamental interests", on 15 August. The arrested man allegedly met with a Russian intelligence officer.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has decided to expel a Russian diplomat from the country in connection with the espionage scandal.
The ministry said that the diplomat is expected to leave the country by the end of this week.
As the head of the communications department at the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, Trude Maaseide, told NRK, the diplomatic department made the decision because "the Russian diplomat met with a Norwegian spy". She also noted that the name of the diplomat will not be announced, but that the expelled official worked in the trade department at the Russian Embassy. According to NRK, the diplomat had acted in a manner that was "incompatible with diplomatic status".
The Russian Embassy in Norway has issued a protest against the detention of its deputy trade representative in Norway.
On 15 August, the Norwegian police security service arrested a person who had reportedly met with a Russian intelligence operative and is suspected of handing over state secrets. The detained Norwegian has refused to admit any guilt and demands to be released from police custody. According to the police security service, he met with a Russian intelligence officer several times. The man could face up to 15 years in prison.
The company DNV GL has confirmed that the arrested person was one of its employees. The company said that he had no access to classified information and that he did not work on any project related to defence.
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