International

Lithuania and Norway swap spies with Russia

Two Russians were sentenced in 2017.

Two Lithuanians and a Norwegian convicted of espionage in Russia were freed on Friday in exchange for two Russians who had been in prison in Lithuania.

Yevgeny Mataitis and Aristidas Tamosaitis, who were convicted in 2016, have been reunited with their families, Lithuanian spy chief Darius Jauniskis said.

Frode Berg, a Norwegian sentenced in Russia to 14 years in prison for espionage, was handed over to Norway’s embassy in Vilnius after he crossed into Lithuania.

Earlier in the day, Russians Nikolai Filipchenko and Sergey Moiseyenko were pardoned by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda.

The Baltic News Service said the spy swap took place at noon at a border checkpoint with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. No further details were available.

We are happy that Frode Berg is now coming home to Norway as a free man, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.

We would like to thank the Lithuanian authorities for their cooperation and for their efforts to free Mr. Berg, Ms Solberg said.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said Norway had worked systematically to get Mr. Berg, a retired border inspector, freed since his arrest in Moscow in December 2017 on espionage charges for collecting information about Russian nuclear submarines.

Prosecutors asserted that he was caught with documents he had received from an employee of a military facility who was shadowed by Russian intelligence.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 21, 2020 8:15:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/lithuania-and-norway-swap-spies-with-russia/article29986285.ece

Next Story