Intelligence service envisages a less stable Russia

Chief of the intelligence service, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga LundeOslo.Chief of the intelligence service, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga Lunde .Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Russia may become far more unstable , and this may eventually involve a significant risk and challenge for Norway, the chief of the Intelligence Service of Norway says.
Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde presented the open threat assessment for 2016 on Wednesday and the new boss of the Intelligence Service devoted much  of his attention to Russia.
– Russia today shows an increased willingness and ability to use a wide range of instruments and methods to achieve their political goals. The Russian leadership conveys  an increasingly anti-Western worldview, said Lunde.
He described a country with emerging superpower ambitions and exemplified this with the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and military operations in Syria last year.
– There has been a major shift in Russian policy, he said.
increased tension
For Norway,  the greatest risk  is posed by the internal situation in the neighboring country.
Low oil prices and sanctions regime has clearly exposed the country’s over- dependence on energy revenues, the report said.
– In the absence of an oil price rise renewed growth will require sweeping reforms, but the country’s leadership does not seem to have the political will to implement such changes, said Lunde.
The Intelligence service also notes  that Russia shows ambitions of greater control in the Arctic. This may the room to maneuver in the North for Norway and our allies,  Lunde says.
The sum of the domestic policy tightening, the deteriorating economic situation and the more aggressive foreign policy indicates a Russia that will act more unpredictably in the coming year, the Intelligence Service concludes.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today