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Norway Says It’s Early to Discuss Consequences For Relations With Russia After 'Spying' Allegations

It was reported on Monday that the Norwegian Police Security Service had arrested a citizen for allegedly meeting with a Russian intelligence officer and disclosing state secrets. The man in question is said to have denied the charges of espionage.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said that a more thorough investigation was needed before the government could officially respond to the arrest of an Oslo resident accused of meeting with someone described as a “Russian intelligence officer” and disclosing state secrets, according to her comments to national broadcaster NRK.

"As of now, we have not come up with a response regarding this case, which is still at the investigation phase. Before we settle on how to respond to that, a more thorough investigation is needed”, the prime minister said.

Solberg added that it was too early to speak about consequences this situation could have for Russia-Norway relations before the results of the official probe.

© Flickr / NHH-SymposietAulaforedrag Erna Solberg
Norway Says It’s Early to Discuss Consequences For Relations With Russia After 'Spying' Allegations  - Sputnik International
Aulaforedrag Erna Solberg

“In order to discuss what this will have for our relations with Russia, I think we need to wait ... I was informed about the arrest, since these events may affect our relations with other countries. Of course, the prime minister and the diplomatic department were informed”, she said.  

Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) revealed on Monday that they have arrested a man “formally suspected of providing information to a foreign country that could damage fundamental national interests”. The country in question was later confirmed to be Russia, with the PST official saying that a citizen in his 50s had been accused of meeting on multiple occasions with an officer said to be from the “Russian intelligence agency”.

The suspected man was arrested in Oslo on Saturday and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of disclosing state secrets and espionage. According to reports, he previously held a position as the research director at Sintef and Umoe Solar and played a key role at the internationally accredited registrar and classification society DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas) prior to his arrest. The Norwegian has been taken into custody while the probe is ongoing, and has reportedly claimed to be not guilty of the allegations.

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