The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of the senior diplomat from the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. The ambassador was invited to the Russian Foreign Ministry and informed that as a response, one of the senior diplomats of the Norwegian Embassy was also declared ‘persona non grata”.
Austria issued a removal order for a Russian diplomat. The order gives the Russian diplomat one week to leave the country. The Russian Embassy in Austria did not make an official statement pertaining to the current situation. An official did say the situation is just a misunderstanding.
The European Commission and the EU Diplomatic Service launched consultations pertaining to the EU policy in the Arctic Region. The main purpose of the consultation is to identify the strengths and shortcomings of the current strategy. The consultations are expected to be completed by November 2020.
A Norwegian court sentenced Philip Manshaus to 21 years in prison for the murder of his half-sister and his attack at the Al-Noor Islamic Center mosque in August 2019. The court ruled Manshaus, 22, must serve a sentence of at least 14 years before being allowed to submit a sentence reduction.
The United States Department of Justice has indicted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for “narcoterrorism.” The US Attorney General William Barr made the announcement on Thursday. The United States has also promised a bounty of up to $15 million for information leading to the arrest of Maduro, as announced by the US State Department.
Last night, new Russian exercises started off the coast of Helgeland. The drills take place far offshore, and in International waters, however. This is the third time in less than a year that Russia has announced missile drills off the coast in the north. According to the Norwegian military, Russians rarely practices so far south.
The Venezuelan government has officially distanced itself from participating in the new round of talks with the opposition held in Barbados, the Caribbean. The mediation efforts are being spearheaded by Norway, and initially scheduled to take place on Thursday (today) and Friday. The late Wednesday decision by the Maduro Government came a day after the United States announced sanctions on individuals and companies negotiating with the Venezuelan Government.
Norway has detected a radiation level 800,000 times greater than normal in the sinking of a Russian military submarine. The Soviet-era vessel sank in the Norwegian Sea in 1989, when a fire on board killed 42 sailors.
The Norwegian team’s analysis showed radioactive cesium leaking from a ventilation tube on the submarine, called Komsomolets. According to Hilde Elise Heldal researcher, the problem is not alarming for the time being, as Arctic waters rapidly dilute radioactive material. Komsomolets is also located in a very deep sea, at 1680m deep, and there are few fish in the area, says Heldal.