Russia calls spy case unfortunate for relations with Norway

Frode BergFrode Berg.Photo: Privat / NTB scanpix

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the arrest of Frode Berg ‘unfortunate’ for relations with Norway, and announced that they will take ‘adequate measures’.


The retired border inspector, Frode Berg (aged 62) was arrested on December the 5th in Moscow, suspected of espionage. He was arrested carrying 3,000 euros in cash.

Berg claimed that he had been fooled, and explained through his Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, that he had been asked by people in Norway to hand over the money in Moscow.

On Thursday, the first official reaction came from the Russian authorities.

‘This is not good for the relationship between Norway and Russia,’ said press spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, in the Russian Foreign Ministry to the NRK news during a press conference on Thursday.

Zakharova stated that the Russian authorities believe Berg was in the country on behalf of Norwegian intelligence, and that, as such, he had provided information to both the Norwegian authorities, and the CIA.

The spokeswoman told NRK that the authorities would take ‘adequate measures’ in the case, but she didn’t elaborate on what these measures would be.

Berg has been kept in a solitary confinement cell in the Lefortovo high-security prison in Moscow, and will be detained until February the 5th. All conversations are done using an interpreter, and under surveillance.

His Russian lawyer, Ilja Novikov has previously said that the former southern Varanger border inspector is doing well under the circumstances.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today