International Development News
Development News Edition

UPDATE 2-Moscow protests Russian's arrest in Oslo, Norwegians seal off room in parliament


UPDATE 2-Moscow protests Russian's arrest in Oslo, Norwegians seal off room in parliament

Russia's foreign ministry summoned Norway's ambassador on Monday to protest against the arrest of a Russian citizen in Oslo on suspicion of spying while Norwegian authorities sealed off what was described as a "compromised room" in parliament.

The Russian, identified as M.A.Bochkaryov, was detained on Friday at Oslo's airport as he prepared to fly out after attending an international seminar on digitalization in Norway's parliament.

"We demanded ... the immediate lifting of the absurd charges, and his release," the Russian foreign ministry said, announcing its protest via Norway's ambassador.

Bochkaryov, who was said by the foreign ministry to be a "staff member" of the Russian parliament's upper house, had been attending a seminar in the Norwegian parliament. Organised by the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation, it had been attended by 79 people from 34 countries.

Norway's Police Security Service (PST) said the Russian had been detained on suspicion of illegal intelligence activities.

Meanwhile, in preventive measures, the Norwegian authorities took out of service several printers in the public areas near the seminar's venue.

The foreign affairs and defense committee's meeting room in the building, one floor below the venue, was sealed until further notice. "The room has been compromised and cannot be used," Conservative parliamentarian Michael Tetzschner said.

"We take this incident very seriously and therefore we have implemented preventive security measures in cooperation with the relevant authorities including the National Security Agency," the parliament's chief administrator, Marianne Andreassen, said.

The latest escalation in Russian-Norwegian relations comes as NATO prepares for the largest exercise on its northern flank since the Cold War.

Norway is a member of the U.S.-led NATO alliance and has a land border with Russia.

A "MISUNDERSTANDING"

"I cannot remember that we had a similar situation before, so it's not normal," said Martin Bernsen, spokesman for the Norwegian Police Security Service.

Hege Aakre, a Norwegian lawyer for the detained Russian, told Reuters his detention had been based on observation of his "suspicious behavior".

Her client had denied any wrongdoing and regarded the incident as "misunderstanding", Aakre said. He appealed against the detention on Monday, she added.

The Russian consul visited the detained man and spoke with him, Russia's TASS news agency reported on Monday, citing a Russian embassy official Olga Kiryak.

Last December, Russia arrested a retired Norwegian border guard Frode Berg in Moscow on suspicion of espionage.

Berg had admitted being a courier for Norway's military intelligence but had scant knowledge of the operation he took part in and denied wrongdoing, his lawyer said.

The lawyer, Brynjulf Rises, said the detention of the Russian man in Oslo offered the hope of a prisoner swap. "It sparks a hope for Berg and his family," he told Reuters.

Berg faces up to 20 years of imprisonment if found guilty.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

With Ayodhya verdict, CJI starts clearing high profile pending cases

Ending all the speculations, the Chief Justice of India Mr. Ranjan Gogoi who is due to retire on November 17 decided to deliver the verdict in Ayodya dispute at 10.30 am on Saturday which is not a working day for the Supreme Court. This is ...

How partnerships and collaborations could enhance teacher training

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group shares her views on public private partnership and collaborations in education sector. She supports her propositions with her organisations success stories....

Fixed Test centers would facelift level of WTC in India

The venues for the test matches in India should be fixed so that World Test Championship matches remain fair....

Videos

Latest News

AIMPLB for review of SC verdict in Ayodhya case, against taking alternative 5-acre plot

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board AIMPLB on Sunday favoured seeking a review of the Supreme Courts judgement in the Ayodhya issue, and said it was against accepting the five-acre alternative land given for a mosque. The land of the mo...

UPDATE 3-At least seven killed in gas explosion in Bangladesh

At least seven people were killed and eight injured on Sunday after a gas pipeline exploded in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong, a police official said.The pipeline exploded in front of a five-story building, blowing some of the buil...

Natalie Dreyfuss lands recurring role in 'The Flash'

The Originals star Natalie Dreyfuss is set to star in a recurring role in the six season of The Flash series. The actor will play Sue Dearbon in The CW show based on the DC superhero, reported TVLine.Described as possessing a fierce intelli...

Fadnavis heckled at Bal Thackeray's death anniversary function

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was on Sunday heckled by some slogan-shouting workers of the Shiv Sena as he left Shivaji Park here after paying tribute to Bal Thackeray on his seventh death anniversary. Some workers of ...

Give Feedback