10:15 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Russia Expects Norway's Explanations After Security Service's Report

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia expects clarifications from Norway on its stance toward the prospects of bilateral cooperation and partnership in the Arctic region following the release of a report by the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), which includes controversial statements about Russia, the Russian embassy in Norway said in a statement.

    "We will wait for official clarifications if Norway is interested in the continuation of Russian-Norwegian regional and cross-border cooperation and on contacts in the Arctic region," the statement published on the embassy's Facebook account said on Wednesday.

    The Russian embassy stated that the PST "has been engaged in the intimidation of the Norwegian population in the face of a mythical threat posed by Russia" for a long time.

    The diplomatic mission indicated that media coverage of Russia-related threats, particularly by the TV 2 broadcaster had been full of "old mudslinging" and "Russophobic ideas."

    READ MORE: Russia Surfaces in Norwegian Threat Scenario — For What Reason?

    "Instead of demonizing Russia, [the Norwegian side] should think about closer cooperation with the relevant Russian agencies in order to ensure the real safety of citizens and to improve the atmosphere of bilateral relations," the statement said.

    On Tuesday, the Norwegian security service issued a report, which contained an evaluation of risks for the nation. According to the embassy, the report included "absurd" calls to "keep an eye on" colleagues and links on the use by "agents" of public sources, such as seminars and conferences focusing on the issues of security, the northern regions, technologies and innovations. The embassy mentioned a number of conferences with a traditional representation of Russian participants, noting that the events were focusing on the issues of concern for the PST.

    The Tuesday report was not the first case, in which the security service has touched on Russia in its annual publication on potential threats. In 2016 and in 2017, the PST also expressed concern over alleged Russian intelligence gathering in the country.

    Russia and Norway have a long history of cooperation. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian government was the first to recognize the independence of Norway in 1905, while Norway was the first of the Western states that recognized Russia as a sovereign state in 1991.

    Arctic, Norway, Russia