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article imageRussia gives ex-cop 13 years in Norwegian spy case

By AFP     Dec 11, 2018 in World

A former Russian police officer accused of handing documents to an alleged Norwegian spy was on Tuesday sentenced by a Moscow court to 13 years in prison, news agencies reported.

Alexei Zhitnyuk was arrested for handing files relating to Russia's navy to a Norwegian national, Frode Berg, media quoted investigators as saying at the time of Berg's arrest in December.

Zhitnyuk will serve his term for treason in a penal colony following the closed trial, according to Interfax news agency.

Berg remains in custody in Russia awaiting trial, in a case that has added to diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Oslo.

He was detained in Moscow following a sting operation by the FSB security service.

Historically good relations between Norway and neighbouring Russia have soured since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014.

Norway announced in 2016 that 330 US Marines would be stationed on rotation at a location more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the Russian border.

Russia insisted those plans would do nothing to make northern Europe safer.

Last month, Oslo accused Moscow of jamming GPS signals in Norway's far north when it was hosting major NATO exercises this year.

In October Norway arrested a Russian man suspected of spying at the country's parliament, but he was released after investigators failed to convince a judge of their case.

Norwegian intelligence said last year that the country's foreign ministry, army and other institutions had been targeted in a cyber attack by a group suspected of having links to Russian authorities.

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