Norway’s ‘Jens’ to calm NATO nerves

NEWS ANALYSIS: As nervous and bickering leaders of NATO member countries gathered in London on Tuesday, their own Norwegian leader Jens Stoltenberg was using all his diplomatic and folksey skills to keep them united. Norway’s biggest dilemma, meanwhile, is over the US’ proposal that NATO view China as a threat. Stoltenberg already tried in advance […]

Released spy answered questions

Frode Berg met Tuesday with members of the special parliamentary commission charged with controlling Norway’s secretive intelligence-gathering agencies. Some politicians think the head of the agency that recruited Berg to be a courier in Russia should be fired. “I was able to speak out about what I felt a need to say,” Berg told reporters […]

‘A scandal of huge proportions’

“I’ve been convicted of espionage, but I’m no spy,” declared Frode Berg at the outset of his lengthy press conference in Oslo Tuesday evening. The retired border inspector from Kirkenes who’s at the center of one of the biggest intelligence-gathering scandals in Norwegian history made it clear that he thinks Norway’s major intelligence agencies have […]

Parliament probes spy’s recruitment

The Norwegian Parliament’s special commission charged with monitoring the country’s intelligence agencies has confirmed that it will investigate how convicted spy Frode Berg was recruited and whether any of his rights were violated. Berg finally landed back in Norway during the weekend, after nearly two years in a Russian jail. The parliamentary commission, known as […]

Norwegian spy heads into the cold

UPDATED: Frode Berg, the former Norwegian border inspector in Kirkenes who ended up being convicted of spying for Norway in Russia, was pardoned as expected on Friday. It remains unclear what kind of reception he’ll get back home in Norway, as he heads into a new winter after two years in a Moscow jail. Emotions […]

Hopes and tension at liberation jubilee

On the eve of Friday’s ceremonies marking the Soviet liberation of Finnmark in 1944 came word that a Russian commission was recommending a pardon for convicted Norwegian spy Frode Berg. As hopes rose for Berg’s release, however, Russia uleashed harsh criticism of Norwegian defense policy, marring the Norwegian delegation’s long-planned meetings with Russian Foreign Minister […]

Berg seeks pardon as spy swap looms

Frode Berg, the former Norwegian border inspector convicted of espionage in Russia, has formally applied for a pardon. The move is believed to be part of a complicated deal to swap Berg and two convicted Lithuanian spies jailed in Russia for at least one Russian spy jailed in Lithuania. Berg’s Russian defense attorney Ilja Novikov […]

Norway drops missile defense program

Just weeks before meeting Russian officials in the northern city of Kirkenes, to celebrate how the former Soviet Union liberated Finnmark from Nazi German occupation n 1944, Norwegian government officials have made a concession to their neighbours. They won’t be going along with the US- and NATO-backed missile defense program after all. Norway was under […]

Defense chief calls for major build-up

Norwegian defense chief Haakon Bruun-Hanssen is asking for, and may well receive, an extra NOK 25 billion (USD 3 billion) over the next eight years to build up the country’s defense. He and other military experts believe Russia would want to blockade Norway in the event of a conflict, meaning Norway must be able to […]

Norway working to bring spy home

Norway’s foreign ministry is reportedly spending millions trying to get convicted spy Frode Berg freed from prison in Moscow. The goal, reports state broadcaster NRK, is to get Berg home to Kirkenes in Northern Norway before ceremonies are held later this fall to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s liberation of Finnmark in […]