Oslo court orders alleged spy’s release

A court in Oslo didn’t go along on Thursday with a request by Norway’s police intelligence service PST to keep an alleged Russian spy in custody any longer. Mikhail Botsjkarjov, a Russian security expert at Russia’s parliament in Moscow, said he now wants to travel home as soon as possible. PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) had sought to […]

MP caught cheating on his expenses

UPDATED: A Member of Parliament for the Progress Party has admitted to submitting fraudulent expense accounts, after newspaper Aftenposten discovered how he had turned in a series of undocumented claims for reimbursement. MP Mazyar Keshvari, who sits on the Parliament’s own disciplinary committee, was himself reported to police on Thursday afternoon for collecting tens of […]

State visit ‘renews’ Chinese friendship

Norway’s King Harald V got some support from Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, both in the literal and figurative sense. Xi reportedly slowed his pace and helped the 81-year-old monarch up some stairs during state visit ceremonies in Beijing, and confirmed that the two countries are friends again. “With this visit we are renewing […]

King to speak up while in China

Norway’s King Harald V was winning praise after he said he would bring up human rights concerns during a meeting with China’s authoritarian president Xi Jinping this week. Norway’s leader of Amnesty International called the king’s stated intention to be on the offensive “very gratifying.” The monarch, who is on a state visit to China […]

State budget aims for political appeal

Finance Minister Siv Jensen presented the conservative Norwegian government coalition’s state budget proposal on Monday that seems to offer something for everyone. While Jensen stressed that “it’s good for the country,” it was widely viewed as especially good for the small Christian Democrats party that will ultimately decide the fate of both the budget and […]

Tiny, divided party plays a huge role

The once-cheerful Christian Democrats may well be praying for salvation these days. With an average of just 3.5 percent of the vote in the latest public opinion polls, they still tip the balance in Parliament, and now their leader is forcing them to make an historic political choice. He’s not off to a good start. […]

Solberg tackles a tougher opposition

NEWS ANALYSIS: Members of Parliament launched into a tough post-opening debate this week, with the opposition intent on bringing down Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg. She has already resolved several of the most troublesome issues facing her government this fall, however, so the debate now aimed at toppling her government coalition currently lacks a specific reason […]

Royals are finally invited to China

The Chinese government kept Norwegian officials in suspense, but have finally followed through on a promised invitation to King Harald and Queen Sonja. The royals will leave next week for a week-long state visit, their first to China in 21 years. It confirms how a diplomatic freeze between Norway and China has thawed, even though […]

Russians call spy charges ‘extortion’

Russian officials reacted angrily once again on Thursday after a court in Oslo agreed to hold a Russian man charged with spying in custody for at least two more weeks. A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman called the charges “pure extortion” aimed at freeing a Norwegian held for spying in Moscow. “We demand that all false […]

Norway hails man who modernized it

Kåre Willoch was being called both a “unique national phenomenon” and “the father of the modern Norway” when he turned 90 on Wednesday. His time as a Conservative prime minister in the early 1980s fundamentally changed the country, through a mix of deregulation and recognition of individual freedoms, and even now, he’s fighting against a […]