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Norway. Media: military officers rented houses from Russians associated with Putin during NATO exercises

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During the NATO Nordic Response exercises in March in northern Norway, Norwegian and Swedish soldiers rented summer houses from Russians with ties to the Kremlin, local media report. The services of both countries have already initiated an investigation into this matter.

Information that Norwegian and Swedish soldiers rented summer houses from Russians with ties to the Kremlin in March was revealed by the local newspaper “Nordlyss” and TV2 television.

According to Norwegian media, the housing estate in the Malselv commune near Tromsoe, overlooking the Bardufoss military air base, is called a “Russian town” by local residents. Satellite dishes with Cyrillic inscriptions can be seen on the roofs of the property.

According to TV2, the owner of one of the properties is the mayor of Murmansk, Igor Murar, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin's party, United Russia. Another cottage belongs to Viktor Saigin, a member of the regional authorities in Murmansk.

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An investigation into this matter is ongoing

An investigation into the rental of cottages from Russians was initiated by the Norwegian special services PST, which in a report published in February warned against the increase in espionage activity in the Arctic region. When asked about the case, the Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Store, emphasized that “thinking about security should be revised to know who owns the property and whether it may pose a threat.”

The case is also being investigated by the Swedish armed forces, for which the issue of ownership of the houses is “new information”. – We need to analyze this – said Swedish military spokesman Marten Malmberg.

20,000 people took part in the Nordic Response exercises in early March in northern Norway. soldiers from 13 allied countries. The maneuvers were part of the largest NATO Steadfast Defender maneuvers taking place in Europe in years.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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