Although he believes Russia wants to create turmoil and division in the EU and NATO, the chief of the Intelligence Services, Morten Haga Lunde, does not think that Norwegians are easily swayed.
In an interview with VG newspaper, Lunde warns against exaggerating the impact of Russian measures, and believes that everything the Intelligence Services are doing is working.
‘If we overestimate Russia’s ability and willingness to act, we help to underpin a picture of Russia that is not correct’, said the Lieutenant-General.
‘There was not an exhilirant mood after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, despite the fact that they have run campaigns to influence European public opinion that it was something Europe desired’, he pointed out.
In its open threat assessment, the Intelligence Service reported that Russia, ‘over several years have manipulated social media to influence Western public opinion’.
The Intelligence Service report paints a picture of a big neighbour to the east that wishes to create dissension and unrest in Europe. Still, Lunde thinks that it will be difficult for the Russians to affect Norwegian opinions.
‘I would argue that Norway is a good, democratic society with a high degree of education, a high ability to think for themselves, and to make their own assessments. So, the confidence I have in the Norwegian people to certainly manage to separate the wheat from the chaff is high’, said Lunde.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today