Norway expelled 15 diplomats from the Russian embassy, declared undercover spies
Norway declared 15 diplomats who worked at the Russian embassy in Oslo to be persons non grata. They turned out to be undercover spies and should leave the country soon.
This was reported in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.
"The 15 intelligence officers have been engaging in activities incompatible with their diplomatic status," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
The activities of these intelligence officers have been monitored over time. At the same time, there is an increasing Russian intelligence threat to Norway due to the deteriorating security situation. It is against this backdrop that we have decided to take this action now.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway also noted that several European countries have recently reduced the number of Russian spies working under diplomatic cover and tightened the rules for issuing visas to Russian spies.
"I would like to emphasise that Norway is seeking to maintain normal diplomatic relations with Russia, and that Russian diplomats are welcome in Norway. The action we have taken today is targeted towards reducing undesirable intelligence activities. We want Russia to continue to have a functioning diplomatic mission in Norway, but we will not accept that diplomatic missions are misused for the purposes of carrying out covert intelligence activities,” said Huitfeldt.