October 24, 2019 / 10:29 PM / 24 days ago

Russia's Lavrov says Norwegian spy could return home at 'any moment'

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a Norwegian man jailed for spying could return home at “any moment”.

Lavrov spoke briefly to Norwegian media when he arrived in the Arctic town of Kirkenes in Norway on the 75th anniversary of its liberation by the Red Army, according to video posted on Friday on the Russian foreign ministry’s Telegram channel.

A Russian commission on Thursday recommended President Vladimir Putin pardon Frode Berg, jailed for spying, spurring hopes in Norway that he may be released as part of a spy swap.

Berg, a retired guard on the Norwegian-Russian border, was detained in December 2017 and jailed for 14 years after being convicted of gathering intelligence about nuclear submarines. He pleaded not guilty to charges of espionage on behalf of Norway.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Dan Grebler

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