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Norway arrests suspected Russian spy

Norway arrests suspected Russian spy

Another Russian sry was arrested in Norway by the intelligence service. On Sunday, the 51-year-old Russian suspected of “illegal intelligence activity” ordered held in custody for two weeks, the day after his arrest at Oslo airport, TheLocal reports.

Norway’s intelligence service PST said arrested a Russian spy whose activity during a seminar in parliament was suspicious. Despite the allegations, the Russian rejects the claim and says it is a “misunderstanding”, said his lawyer on Monday. A suspected Russian spy acted during the inter-parliamentary seminar which gathered representatives from 34 countries to discuss digitalisation at the Norwegian parliament.

According to the PST spokesman Martin Bernsen, an investigation is in its “preliminary phase” now, with suspicions for the time being based on “observations and his behaviour.”

On the day of arrest, the Russian ambassador in Norway Teimuraz Ramishvili criticised the detention on the Embassy’s Facebook page, emphasizing it was based on a “ridiculous pretext”. Although the Norwegian intelligence officials regularly accuse Russia of cyber attacks and espionage, the arrests are extremely rare. Sunday’s arrest is the latest in a number of spy rows between western countries and Russia.

Norwegian-Russian spy rows

In April, a Norwegian was arrested in Russia suspected of espionage. Held in custody pending trial, Frode Berg has admitted helping the Norwegian intelligence service by acting as a courier on several occasions but says he didn’t know what he was delivering.

If the investigation in Norway confirms the espionage allegations against the Russian citizen, Norwegian authorities could try to negotiate an exchange to obtain Berg’s return, local media have speculated.

The Norway intelligence service refused to comment on those reports.