06:16 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Norwegian national Frode Berg, who is accused of spying on Russia, stands inside a glass cage in a court room in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 16, 2019

    Freed Norwegian Spy Frode Berg to Go Home As Soon As Possible – Prime Minister

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    MURMANSK (Sputnik) - Convicted Norwegian spy Frode Berg will come home after being released into Lithuania from Russia as soon as possible, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Friday.

    "Frode Berg will come to Norway as soon as it will practically be possible", Solberg said, adding she had briefly spoken with him over the phone to welcome him back to Norway.

    Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said his arrest in 2017 had not had a negative effect on the Nordic nation's relationship with Russia.

    "We do not think that this case had a negative impact on the relationship between Norway and Russia. This should be emphasised," she told reporters at a press conference.

    Exchanges between the two neighbors had only intensified, Soereide said. She met four times with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lately. She also added that Norway had been working on Berg's release since his arrest.

    Berg was freed from a jail in Russia, where he was sentenced to 14 years on espionage charges, and handed over to the Norwegian Embassy in Vilnius in a spy swap that also involved two Lithuanians and two Russians.

    The retired Norwegian border agent was detained in Moscow in late 2017 over obtaining classified information concerning the Russian Navy. He has denied the charges though, and his lawyer insisted that the intelligence might have used Berg to get the classified documents without him knowing.

    Tags:
    arrest, foreign ministry, intelligence, classified, jail, release, Lithuania, espionage, spy, Frode Berg, Norway, Russia
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