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Bochkarev incident to affect parliamentary ties between Russia, Norway, Moscow says

Mikhail Bochkarev was detained at Oslo Gardermoen Airport on September 21 on espionage charges and released on October 19
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova  Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Norway’s provocative steps against Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) employee Mikhail Bochkarev will affect parliamentary ties between Moscow and Oslo, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"Such actions run counter to the development of Russian-Norwegian relations and will definitely have negative consequences, particularly affecting parliamentary ties," she said.

Bochkarev was detained at Oslo Gardermoen Airport on September 21 on espionage charges and released from custody on October 19.

According to Zakharova, he has already returned to Moscow. "At the same time, the Norwegian Police Security Service has said that the so-called case is still being investigated," the Russian diplomat noted.

"Russian officials have stated on numerous occasions that the Norwegian authorities’ step can only be described as hostile and provocative," she went on to say. "Right from the start, we emphasized that the charges brought against Bochkarev are totally false. However, Norwegian authorities - including the parliament, which provoked the incident - have not provided official apologies yet," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added.