Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 3-Russia exchanges spies with Lithuania, Norway in Cold War-style swap


UPDATE 3-Russia exchanges spies with Lithuania, Norway in Cold War-style swap
Flag of Russia (representative image) Image Credit: ANI

Russia freed two Lithuanians and a Norwegian on Friday in return for two Russian spies held in Lithuania, in a Cold War-style spy swap that brought several high profile espionage cases to a close. "The exchange took place at one of Lithuania's border posts at midday," Lithuania's counterintelligence chief, Darius Jauniskis, told a news conference.

The Norwegian, Frode Berg, a retired guard on the Norwegian-Russian border, was brought to Norway's embassy in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and turned over to Norwegian authorities. "We are so happy right now," his daughter, Christina Berg, told Reuters by text message.

"We have been waiting for this for two years now," said Oeystein Hansen, a member of a support group in Berg's hometown of Kirkenes in Arctic Norway, told Reuters by phone. "It is very good for all the parties, the local community, the family, the Norwegian nation." Berg was arrested in Moscow in 2017 and convicted of gathering intelligence on behalf of Norway. He pleaded not guilty.

COMING HOME "We are happy that Frode Berg is now coming home to Norway as a free man," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement.

One of the two freed Russians, Nikolai Filipchenko, was detained in 2015 and sentenced in 2017 to 10 years in jail for spying and crossing a state border using a forged document, the Lithuanian general prosecutor's office told Reuters. He holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), it said.

The other freed Russian is Sergej Moisejenko, detained in 2014 and sentenced in 2017 to 10-1/2 years for spying and illegal possession of weapons, the prosecutor's office said. Filipchenko had targeted the Lithuanian president's security staff with the aim of bugging the presidency's office and home. Moisejenko had sought information about Lithuanian and NATO armed forces, according to local Lithuanian media reports.

The two freed Lithuanians are Jevgenij Mataitis and Aristides Tamosaitis. Both had been jailed by Russia on spying charges. They were on their way to their families, said Lithuanian authorities. Mataitis, who holds Russian citizenship, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in Russia in 2016 for betraying his country by spying, Russia's TASS news agency reported, citing a statement from the FSB, the Russian security service.

He was passing military information, including state secrets, for six years while serving as a captain in the Russian armed forces, TASS said. Tamosaitis was detained in Russia and 2015 on spying charges and was sentenced in 2016 behind closed doors to 12 years in prison, according to Lithuania's ambassador, quoted in a report by Lithuanian news agency BNS at the time.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Videos

Latest News

Six of top-10 firms add Rs 65,060 cr in m-cap; RIL, HDFC lead

Six of the 10 most valued Indian companies together added Rs 65,060.30 crore in market valuation last week, with RIL and HDFC emerging as the biggest gainers. HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and SBI were the other winners in the ...

Protests against Citizenship law in Bengal, roads blockades at several places

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Howrah districts of West Bengal which is witnessing protests against the amended Citizenship Act, police said on Sunday. Protesters blocked various important roa...

Reports of Home Ministry moving proposal to introduce Article 371 In J-K false, baseless: MHA

The Union Home Ministry on Saturday said that media reports claiming that centre has moved a proposal to implement Article 371 in Jammu Kashmir are incorrect. Reacting on certain TV as well as newspaper reports, Ministry of Home Affairs sa...

Heat beat Mavericks after Doncic injured

Jimmy Butler scored 27 points as the Miami Heat recorded a 122-118 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday in a game that saw Luka Doncic injure his ankle early in the first quarter. After Jalen Brunsons 3-pointer gave Dallas...

Give Feedback