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Russian spying can 'damage' Norway: PST

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Russian spying can 'damage' Norway: PST
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Scanpix

In its annual threat assessment, PST said that Russian spies have major “damage potential” for Norwegian interests.

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The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) said that the security policy developments of recent years is a cause for concern and that more foreign states may undermine or weaken Norwegian interests. 
 
“Norway is in the part of the world where intergovernmental problems have traditionally been solved politically. But the security policy developments of recent years give cause for concern,” PST wrote in its threat assessment for 2016. 
 
“We see that more states are using their intelligence agencies in ways that can undermine or weaken our national interests,” the report said. 
 
Russia is seen as a particular threat to Norway. 
 
“Our assessment remains that Russian intelligence has the largest potential to damage Norwegian interests,” PST head Marie Benedicte Bjørnland said.
 
“[Russian] intelligence services will use all available resources. That includes encouraging, pressuring or threatening its own citizens who have access to sensitive Norwegian information to cooperate. Another instrument will be digital espionage and network operations,” the PST report stated. 
 
Bjørnland said that large-scale digital espionage against Norway and Norwegian interests is already underway and that the nation’s businesses and educational institutions will be targets for illegal activity. 
 
“More countries will attempt to obtain advances goods, services, technology and knowledge to develop weapons of mass destruction. We consider Norwegian companies and educational institutions to be targets of such covert and illegal activity,” the report continued. 
 
PST concluded that foreign state-sanctioned espionage will be difficult to prosecute but that there are many things that Norwegian interests can do to detect, prevent and reduce the harmful effects of foreign spying. 
 
“For a stable security situation to continue, it is crucial that the state maintains its ability to control its territory and sovereignty,” PST wrote. 

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