Norway detains man on suspicion of being a Russian spy

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (HPD) — Norway’s national security agency has arrested a man who entered the country as a Brazilian citizen but is suspected of being a Russian spy, a Norwegian broadcaster reported Tuesday.

The man was detained on Monday in the Arctic city of Tromsoe, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said, adding that investigators believe he was in Norway under a false name and identity working for one of Russia’s intelligence services.

Deputy head of the Norwegian Police Security Service, Hedvig Moe, told NRK that the man had been based at Norway’s Arctic University in Tromsoe as a “Brazilian researcher” and would be expelled from the Scandinavian country “because we believe he represents a threat to fundamental national interests”.

The security service, known as PST, “is concerned that he may have acquired a network and information about Norwegian politics in the northern region,” Moe said, according to NRK. “Even if this network or the piecemeal information is not a threat to the security of the kingdom, we are concerned that the information could be misused by Russia.”

NRK representatives were not immediately available for comment. In a statement, Norway’s Arctic University administrator Jørgen Fossland said the person in question was “a visiting professor” at the school. Fossland referred other questions to the security service.

Several Russian citizens have been detained in Norway in recent weeks. Among them are three men and a woman who were seen allegedly taking photos in central Norway of objects that were prohibited from being photographed. They have already been released.

European countries have tightened security around key energy, internet and electricity infrastructure following underwater explosions that ruptured two natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, built to supply Russian gas to Germany.

Damaged Nord Stream pipelines off Sweden and Denmark released huge amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the air.

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