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Norwegian national Berg returns to Norway after prisoner swap - agency

He was transported from Lithuania on a private plane

HELSINKI, November 17. /TASS/. Norwegian national Frude Berg, convicted of espionage in Russia and released as a result of a prisoner swap between Lithuania and Russia, has arrived in Norway on Saturday night, the Norwegian Telegraph Bureau informed, citing Berg’s lawyer Brynjulf Risnes.

"Berg was transported from Lithuania on a private plane, which landed on Saturday evening at Gardermoen Airport [in Oslo]," the attorney said.

In October, Lithuanian media outlets said that Vilnius and Moscow were getting ready to conduct a spy swap, while Norwegian media said that Berg had been included on the swap list. On Friday morning, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda pardoned Russian nationals Nikolai Filipchenko and Sergei Moiseyenko, convicted of spying for Russia. A few hours later, he announced that Lithuania and Russia had carried out a spy swap.

Berg was detained in Moscow in December 2017 in a special operation carried out by the Federal Security Service (FSB), and was charged with espionage under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code.

Investigators figured out that the Norwegian had collected information about Russia’s nuclear submarines from a defense company’s staff member, who was under intelligence surveillance. According to investigators, Berg cooperated with the Norwegian Intelligence Service. The Moscow City Court found Berg guilty on April 16, sentencing him to 14 years in a high security prison.