Norway expels 15 Russian ‘intelligence workers’ operating as diplomats

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway expels 15 Russian ‘intelligence workers’ operating as diplomats
Norway has expelled 15 embassy officals accused of being intelligence workers. A Russian flag flies in front of a ruby star atop one of the Kremlin's towers in downtown Moscow (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Norway has expelled 15 Russian embassy officials it believes to be intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover, its foreign ministry announced Thursday.


Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the 15 alleged intelligence officers had conducted activities incompatible with their diplomatic status. 

It announced that the suspected intelligence officers would be required to leave Norway. The ministry said it had made its decision in light of an increased intelligence threat from Russia.

“This is an important measure to counter and reduce the scope of Russian intelligence activities in Norway and thereby secure our national interests,” Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement.

“Russia is the biggest intelligence threat in Norway. We take that seriously, and we are now taking action to counter Russian intelligence activities in this country. We will not allow Russian intelligence officers to operate under diplomatic cover in Norway,” Huitfeldt said.

The ministry said that authorities had monitored the activity of the suspected intelligence officers being expelled. In April 2022, Norway decided to expel three officials employed by the Russian embassy for similar reasons. The officials expelled have been declared "personae non gratae".


“I want to emphasise that Norway wants normal diplomatic relations with Russia and that Russian diplomats are welcome in Norway. However, what we are doing now is aimed exclusively at unwanted intelligence activities. We want to preserve a functioning diplomatic representation but will not accept that diplomatic representation is misused for covert intelligence activities,” the foreign minister said.

Norway, a member of the NATO military alliance, shares a border with Russia in the Arctic.


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