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Russian FM to visit Norway amid rumours spy could be freed

COPENHAGEN — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is to attend the commemoration of the liberation by Soviet troops 75 years ago of northern Norway amid rumours that a Norwegian serving a 14-year sentence for espionage in Russia could be freed.

Lavrov is to attend Friday’s ceremony in Kirkenes, north of the Arctic Circle, with Prime Minister Erna Solberg and his Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Soereide, among others.

Kirkenes is the hometown of Frode Berg, a retired border inspector who was arrested in Moscow in December 2017 on espionage charges. Berg denied them but was convicted in April.

Lavrov told Norway’s TV2 channel late Thursday that Berg could return to Norway “any time.”

The Soviet army entered neighbouring Norway, then occupied by Nazi Germany, in October 1944.

The Associated Press