Prime Minister Erna Solberg defends the decision to expel a Russian diplomat. She thinks it would be wrong to be influenced by Frode Berg’s situation.
“We must do what we think is right, regardless of the fact that we also have consular matters of this type. Just to show that we are not going to be pushed around in such situations,” says Solberg to NTB.
She adds that she does not think Russia will mix the two things together.
Frode Berg is in custody in Moscow, charged with espionage. The Norwegian decision to expel a Russian diplomat in response to the attack in Salisbury has caused concern that it will be harder to get Berg home.
Solberg does not hide the fact that relations with Russia are challenging for Norway.
“We are neighboring countries and we must have a good and balanced relationship with Russia in the areas where we cooperate. But we can not stand outside of an international reaction to what is perceived as an attack on Britain,” she says.
“The decision to expel Russian diplomats was a coordinated action in which a number of countries have participated,” Solberg points out.
“For Norway it is important to show where we stand.”
The United Kingdom has ruled that Russia is most likely behind the poisoning attack, which was directed against Russian explorer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia. Russian authorities have rejected the charges.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today