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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Moscow steps up information gathering on Norwegian oil and gas infrastructure

Russia will seek to gather more intelligence on Norway’s oil and gas infrastructure as part of efforts to put pressure on Europe’s energy supply.

This was announced by the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) in its annual threat assessment on Monday.

Although Russia is unlikely to attempt to sabotage Norway in 2023, the agency said, the situation could change if Moscow’s willingness to escalate conflict with NATO and the West increases.

The threat assessment against Norway is the first since the start of the war in Ukraine. The NATO member country has since become Europe’s largest gas supplier following cuts in Russian gas supplies.

“Norway’s role as a supplier of energy resources for Europe has become even more important for security policy as a result of the war in Ukraine,” the PST report says.

Since the explosions of the Nord Stream pipeline on September 26, Oslo has tightened the security of its oil and gas installations and is receiving help from NATO allies to protect them.

“We are witnessing the emergence of Russian projects aimed at putting pressure on European energy security. Therefore, PST expects that in 2023 Russia will attempt to gather intelligence on most aspects of Norway’s oil, gas and energy sector.

In October, Norway put its armed forces on high alert in response to the war in Ukraine.

The PST also expects Russia to be interested in gathering information available in Norway on NATO expansion to Sweden and Finland, as well as gathering additional information on the Svalbard archipelago.

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