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Breitbart
Breitbart
15 Apr 2023
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NextImg:Russia Identifies NATO's Norway as a 'Hostile' State, Vows Response

Russia has dismissed as “fake news” claims the country is spying on NATO neighbour state Norway, saying it now considers the country a hostile over the decision to expel 15 diplomats accused of spying.

Norway declared 15 Russian diplomats persona non grata on Thursday, foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt (above, left) saying it had discovered the individuals were actually “intelligence officers” that were either handlers running other spies, or were “specialists” actively intercepting communications. Removing the group had considerably impacted Russia’s ability to spy on Norway, the government said.

Russia itself responded to the expulsion with characteristic bluster and bombast, declaring that in removing Russian citizens Norway had revealed itself to be a hostile state and that repercussions would follow.

The Russian foreign ministry immediately threatened an “appropriate response” after the news emerged on Thursday, before cranking up the rhetoric with a blast from the ministry’s spokesman Maria Zakharova (above, right) on Friday, who said the move was a “serious blow” to relations between the countries which share a long land border in northern Europe.

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“Norway confirms its status as a country hostile to Russia”, she said, with the Kremlin official promising a “tough response”. Zakharova blamed a campaign of “fake news” and “disinformation” in the Norwegian media which she said had been coordinated by intelligence agencies to undermine Russian-Norwegian relations.

Such claims aside, relations between Russia and NATO have certainly soured since Moscow’s fresh invasion of Ukraine from 2022. Since the launch of what they euphemistically call their ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Russia has fallen back on theatrically exaggerated threats against world nations for interference in what they consider to be their sphere of influence.

After the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, former president, Putin stooge, and security council deputy-chair Dmitry Medvedev responded with characteristic reserve and threatened to bomb the court in revenge. Medvedev lent into this idea days later, extending the threat to bomb to any nation that tried to execute the warrant, saying “all our weapons” — no small threat for a nuclear state — were available for the task.

Medvedev threatens Ukraine, too. While this may not seem surprising given the violence of the invasion, in terms of internal Russian rhetoric justifying their war, the ‘special military operation’ is all about liberating Ukraine from fascism and Western influence. Departing from that, Medvedev expressed his opinion that the country no longer had a purpose, and the former Russian president said Ukraine will “cease to exist”.