The Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on April 13 that it had expelled 15 "Russian intelligence officers" from the country for "engaging in activities that are not compatible with their diplomatic status."
According to the ministry, the 15 Russian intelligence officers were employees of the Russian embassy and had been "monitored over time."
The threat of Russian intelligence operating on Norwegian territory "as a result of the deteriorating security situation" is what led Norwegian authorities to expel them from the country.
"Russia currently poses the greatest intelligence threat to Norway. We will not allow Russian intelligence officers to operate under diplomatic cover in Norway," Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.
Three Russian intelligence officers were expelled from Norway in April 2022, the ministry added.
"We want Russia to continue to have a functioning diplomatic mission in Norway, but we will not accept that diplomatic missions are misused for the purposes of carrying out covert intelligence activities," Huitfeldt said.
In light of Russia's all-out war against Ukraine, the threat posed by Russian intelligence officers has become more acute.
Norway has pledged Ukraine weapons from its arsenal, including Leopard tanks and NASAMS air defense systems. The country allocated $300 million for military support to Ukraine in the first year of the full-scale invasion.
Poland, another ally of Ukraine, confirmed in mid-March that it had broken up a Russian spy network operating on its territory. The nine people were allegedly preparing sabotage acts and monitoring rail routes to Ukraine.