Norway Expels 15 Russian Diplomats Accused Of Spying

Stuart C. Wilson / Stringer

Matt Buckley Contributor
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Norway has expelled 15 Russian diplomats accused of spying and using their diplomatic status as cover.

Norwegian foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt stated that Norway would not allow the Kremlin access to its embassy in Oslo to engage in “covert intelligence activities.” Huitfeld added that the 15 diplomats and staff in question are now considered personae non gratae and “must leave Norway within a short time. [Norway] will not grant visas to intelligence officers who apply for a visa to Norway,” he said, according to Associated Press.

The Russian embassy responded to the recent expulsion, calling it “an extremely unfriendly step.” Moscow also said it would take “retaliatory measures,” which are expected to be the removal of any Norwegian officials based in Russia. (RELATED: 300 Marines Arrives In Norway Right Near Russia’s Border)

Norwegian authorities had been closely monitoring the individuals’ movements for some time before expelling them, according to a government statement.

Norway says that Russia poses the “greatest intelligence threat” to the country, a threat that is increasing amid the instability of Europe’s “deteriorating security situation,” according to a report from the BBC.

Norway remains to this day a non-member of the EU. Despite this, the country has aligned itself with the bloc and proposed multiple European sanctions against Russia over its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.