White whale ‘can do as he likes’

Norwegian fisheries officials have decided to let a tame white whale,  which recently sought contact with local fishing boats, just swim and frolic in the waters off Norway’s northern city of Hammerfest. They want to wait and see whether the now internationally famous beluga whale can manage on his own. “What’s happening now is basically […]

Norwegian defense ‘has been weakened’

Only their smiles were perhaps surprising when Norway’s defense chief, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, presented his annual report to Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen this week. It came as no surprise when the former submarine commander had to admit that Norway’s defense was weakened by last autumn’s frigate collision, just as Russian sabre-rattling has worsened security. “The […]

Russia sentences Berg to 14 years in jail

A Russian court in Moscow found retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg guilty of espionage on Tuesday, and sentenced him to the full 14-year prison term requested by Russian government prosecutors. Berg has opted against filing an appeal, in the hopes Norwegian authorities will find a way to bring him home. The sentence was harsher […]

‘Foundation laid for more cooperation’

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg described her meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday as “good,” adding that it laid a foundation for further cooperation. Putin claimed he wanted to “focus on the positive” aspects of relations between the two countries that share a border in the far north. “We are good neighbours and […]

Accused spy faces 14 years in jail

A Russian prosecutor asked a Moscow court to sentence retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg to 14 years in prison as his speedy espionage trial wrapped up on Tuesday. Berg stands accused of spying for Norway but claims he was merely an unwitting courier. He’s already been languishing in one of Russia’s most high-security prisons […]

Hopes high before meeting with Putin

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s alleged spy on trial in Moscow on Tuesday wasn’t the only thorny issue as Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg prepared to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon. Political analysts were hoping for improved relations in general after Solberg landed on Russian soil Monday evening for the first […]

Espionage trial due to wrap up quickly

After spending 14 months investigating espionage charges against retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg, and holding him in prison all along, his trial was due to be over after just two days in court. A Russian prosecutor, meanwhile, claims he’s only suspected of being a courier and not spying for Norway or gathering information on […]

Spy trial begins amidst ‘scandal’

Retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg was finally getting his day in a Moscow court on Tuesday, while claims of a major military intelligence scandal that landed him there were flying back home. The Norwegian government’s deafening silence over the arrest and espionage charges against Berg has sparked suspicion and criticism, while speculation swirled that […]

Accused spy’s trial begins next week

Frode Berg, the retired Norwegian border inspector from Kirkenes, has been sitting in a Moscow jail for nearly 16 months, accused of spying for Norway. He finally has a court date, with his trial due to begin in Moscow on April 2. Berg’s Russian defense attorney Ilja Novikov wrote on social media that the trial […]

Cyber attacks high on defense agenda

Norway’s defense minister had the threat of cyber attacks high on his agenda when he met with foreign correspondents in Oslo earlier this week, and that was before news broke of the massive attack on industrial concern Norsk Hydro.  Frank Bakke-Jensen referred to cyberspace as the new battleground that potentially poses more challenges than the […]