Russian military intelligence (GRU) has tried several times over the past few years to purchase advanced technical equipment, including underwater, from Norwegian companies, reports the news website E24.
According to the counterintelligence advisor of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), Dag Røhjell, in at least three cases, Russian intelligence bought or tried to buy equipment that, according to PST, could be used by the Russian army.
The cases concern three people who, according to PST, operated in Norway under diplomatic cover, but in fact worked for the Russian military intelligence GRU, because their behavior did not correspond to that of an ordinary diplomat.
It is noted that initially the orders concerned simple goods, which can be purchased in Moscow. Subsequently, requests for the purchase of equipment became more complex and included dual-use goods that could be used in the defense industry.
At the end of 2021, a GRU officer, assigned to the Russian embassy as a diplomat, tried to buy two mini-submarines from a Norwegian company, allegedly as a gift for a friend.
PST sees a trend in Russia's attempts to acquire underwater technology, which began before February 24, 2022, and believes that underwater technology is a high priority for Russians.
In April, Norway declared 15 Russian diplomats persona non grata. They were expelled from the country for espionage.