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Norway cracks down on Russian use of drones with seven arrests

Norway cracks down on Russian use of drones with seven arrests


Norway’s prime minister has warned his nation will take motion in opposition to international intelligence companies that fly drones over its essential infrastructure, together with oil rigs and airports, after the arrest of seven Russians in possession of the aerial autos.

Oslo and different western capitals are on high alert after the sabotage of the Nord Stream fuel pipelines between Denmark and Sweden final month and quite a few sightings of drones close to oil and fuel services, energy crops and different essential infrastructure.

Norway’s intelligence service stated on Wednesday that it could take over the investigation of the rising variety of latest incidents involving drones. The announcement got here on the identical day because the airport in Bergen, the nation’s second-largest metropolis, was shut down following studies of drones within the space.

It was additionally disclosed that Norwegian police on Monday arrested a 47-year-old Russian-British twin citizen within the metropolis of Hammerfest accused of flying a drone over the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard. The arrest got here solely days after six Russians had been taken into custody in three separate incidents in Norway involving drones and unauthorised images of delicate areas.

“It isn’t acceptable for international intelligence to fly drones over Norwegian airports. Russians should not allowed to fly drones in Norway,” prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre stated on Wednesday.

Norway has changed Russia as the largest fuel provider to Europe after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February upended the continent’s geopolitics and power provides.

A number of Norwegian consultants have warned that the rich Nordic nation has been naive in regards to the menace to essential infrastructure, resembling fuel pipelines, after quite a lot of latest incidents, together with the slicing of an web cable to Svalbard, situated greater than 500km north of the mainland.

The warnings have been heightened since explosions final month beneath the Baltic Sea off Denmark damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines meant to hold fuel between Russia and Germany.

“There was a giant lack of recognition of how strategically vital Norwegian power manufacturing . . . has been for Europe,” Ståle Ulriksen of the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy informed state broadcaster NRK. He added that Norwegian authorities had “naively” ignored espionage warnings from native intelligence companies.

The 47-year-old accused of flying a drone over Svalbard is the son of a Russian businessman who’s a longtime pal and confidant of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, according to the Barents Observer.

Addressing a commerce union assembly on Wednesday, Støre stated there was no direct menace to Norway however the safety state of affairs was severe.

“We don’t need anybody to fly any such gadget over vital installations in Norway. We are saying no to it and we’re going to pursue it and cease it,” the prime minister added.

Støre confused that Norway had checked out its nuclear preparedness “from A to Z”, as he referred to as Russia a militarised, radicalised and in some ways totalitarian society.

Final week, a Russian man was held for flying a drone near Tromsø airport within the north of the nation, 4 Russians had been arrested for taking footage of delicate areas and one other was caught attempting to go away the nation with a drone.

Russia’s embassy in Oslo accused Norway of hysteria and paranoia in arresting what it referred to as vacationers photographing “the nation’s lovely nature”.



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