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RUSSIA

Norway expels three Russian diplomats 

Three Russian diplomats accused of conducting activities 'incompatible with their diplomatic status' have been expelled, the Norwegian foreign ministry announced Wednesday. 

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt
Norway has expelled three diplomats from Russia, the foreign ministry has announced. Pictured: Norway's Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt addresses a press conference during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga, Latvia November 30, 2021. Photo by Gints Ivuskans / AFP.

Three diplomats from the Russian embassy in Oslo have been expelled from the country and given persona non grata status, the Norwegian foreign ministry has announced. 

The three are accused of having conducted activities “incompatible with their diplomatic status”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. 

“This is a consequence of the appalling discovery of Russian forces’ crimes against civilians, in particular in the town of Bucha outside Kyiv. In this situation, we pay particular attention to unwanted Russian activities in Norway,” Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement

Horrific images of corpses lying in the streets in the town of Bucha north-west of Kyiv, some with their hands bound behind them, following the Russian withdrawal, have drawn international condemnation of Russia, and the EU is considering additional sanctions. 

“Together with our close allies and partners, we will continue to stand together against Russian aggression and in our support for Ukraine,” Huitfeldt added.

In recent days, European countries have expelled almost 200 diplomats. Among them was Denmark, which deported 15 diplomats it had accused of spying

 
Norway’s security service PST said that more workers from the Russian embassy in Oslo could be expelled as it believed a number of intelligence officers worked there. 
 
“What we can say is that at the Russian embassy in Oslo, a significant number of intelligence officers work and they work there under diplomatic cover. It is therefore natural for us to follow this further,” Martin Bernsen, senior adviser at PST told newspaper VG

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OIL

Greenpeace activists block Russian oil tanker in Norway

Greenpeace activists in Norway blocked a Russian oil tanker from unloading its cargo near Oslo Monday, saying the shipment was helping to finance Russian President Vladimir Putin's "warfare". 

Greenpeace activists block Russian oil tanker in Norway

The Hong Kong-registered Ust Luga, leased by Russian oil company Novatek, is carrying 95,000 tonnes of fuel bound for Esso’s terminal in southeast Norway, Greenpeace said in a statement.

The tanker was coming from its namesake Russian city, near Saint Petersburg, according to the Marine Traffic website.

Greenpeace activists in a small boat chained themselves to the ship, while others in kayaks unfurled banners reading “oil fuels war,” the group said.

Some activists were stopped by police before they could take part in the action.

“I am shocked that Norway is operating as a free port for Russian oil, which we now is financing Putin’s warfare,” Frode Pleym, head of Greenpeace Norway, said in the statement.

According to a spokeswoman for Esso Norway, the shipment in question was not affected by Western sanctions against Russia imposed over its invasion of Ukraine. 

“The contracts were entered into before Russia invaded Ukraine,” Anne Fougner told newspaper Dagbladet.

“Esso Norway has no other contracts for products from Russia,” she added.

Although it is not a member of the European Union, Norway has matched almost all sanctions imposed by the EU on Moscow since March 18th.

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