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Russia Says Expels 10 Norwegian Diplomats in 'Retaliatory Measure'

Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. Andrey Lyubimov / Moskva News Agency

Russia said on Wednesday it was expelling 10 Norwegian diplomats as a "retaliatory measure" after Norway announced it was kicking out 15 Russians.

"(Norway's Ambassador to Russia) Robert Kvile was handed a note declaring 'persona non grata' 10 representatives of the Norwegian embassy in Moscow," Russia's Foreign Ministry said.

In mid-April, Norway announced the expulsion of 15 "intelligence officers" working at the Russian embassy in Oslo. 

"This hostile step further aggravated the situation in our bilateral relations, which are already at a critically low level," the Russian ministry said Wednesday.

The Norwegian authorities said they were notified of the expulsions.

"All our diplomats in Russia carry out normal diplomatic work. The Russian authorities know this well," said foreign ministry spokesperson Ragnhild Simenstad.

Norwegian intelligence services regularly point to Russia and China as the main espionage threats to the Nordic country, which is a member of NATO and shares a 198-kilometer (123-mile) border with Russia in the Arctic.

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