How much of an intelligence threat does Russia pose to Norway?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How much of an intelligence threat does Russia pose to Norway?
How much of an intelligence threat does Russia pose to Norway? Pictured: stock Foreign Minister of Norway Anniken Huitfeldt who announced Thursday that 15 embassy officials were being expelled. (Photo by VALENTYN OGIRENKO / POOL / AFP)

After 15 Russian embassy officials Norway believes to be intelligence officers were expelled by the foreign ministry, the Police Security Service (PST) believes Russia will still attempt to carry out intelligence operations in the country.


Norway's counter-intelligence service, the Police Security Service (PST), has said that Russia's intelligence activities will continue even after 15 alleged operatives were expelled on Thursday

"The intelligence threat has not gone away but has been reduced," head of PST's counter-intelligence Inger Haugland said at a press conference on Friday. 

The 15 embassy employees have been branded "personae non gratae" after the Foreign Ministry said that the officials' activities were incompatible with their diplomatic status. 

"Russia uses its consulates and embassies to gather intelligence. We have no reason to believe that they do not do this less in Norway than in other countries," Haugland said of the suspected intelligence officers. 

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The head of counter-intelligence told NRK that Russia conducted several types of intelligence activities in Norway. 

"We see different types of activity. An important part of that is keeping human sources, and that they engage in various forms of acquisitions, as well as technical acquisition and interception of information," she explained. 


She added that Russia had intensified its intelligence activities following its invasion of Ukraine and was willing to take greater risks in Europe regarding its espionage attempts. 

The defence and petroleum sectors were both areas highlighted as particularly vulnerable to intelligence-gathering attempts from Russia. 

Dag Røhjell, Superintendent of Police, said Russia's military intelligence service, GRU, had upped activity in Norway. 

"GRU has significant activity in Norway. They are mostly concerned with military conditions and Norwegian defence, our military installations, and ability to handle crises, as well as our capacity to receive allied support," Røhjell said. 

Meanwhile, in an interview with NRK, Haugland said there were in the region of 20 Russian intelligence personnel operating in Norway. 


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