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Russian senator calls phantasmagoric claims about influencing Nobel Committee

January 28, 2017, 15:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"Contacts with the Nobel Committee is a routine diplomatic practice," Konstantin Kosachev said

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MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. The news, saying Norway’s intelligence services considered a meeting between Russian diplomats with new head of the Norway Nobel Prize Committee an attempt of Russian secret services to influence it, is phantasmagoric, head of the Federation Council’s (upper house) international affairs committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Saturday.

Norwegian Police Security Service claims that Russia in 2015 took steps in order to prevent the Nobel Peace Prize from being awarded to Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, the Norwegian government-owned television broadcaster NRK said on Friday evening.

"The impression is that the NATO intelligence services are involved in unannounced competition between themselves - who is better in getting up to, as all elements in the news are pure phantasmagoria," the senator wrote on his Facebook page.

"Contacts with the Nobel Committee is a routine diplomatic practice. At the time, I worked at the Foreign Ministry on Scandinavia, I had a few meetings with the earlier Secretary Michael Sohlman, but nobody would make a fuss of it," he said. "Meetings of the kind are the routine diplomatic work."

He also said nominees’ names on the so-called "long list" for the prize are never published or known right to the award. Poroshenko’s name has not been published anywhere and thus could not be known to the non-involved, including Russian diplomats.

"Thus, this story is rather looks like a planned operation of Norwegian intelligence services against Russia, no more other variants," he said.

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