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Norwegian Firm Seeks $17Mln in Damages Over Pressure to Spy on Russia – Reports

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Spy - Sputnik International
MURMANSK (Sputnik) - Norwegian cement maker Olen Betong is seeking an equivalent of $17 million in damages from the government, which it claims tried to force staff to spy on Russia, the TV2 news channel reported.

Per Ristvedt, the lawyer for Olen Betong told the TV2 news that the cement firm had suffered 150 million Norwegian kroner in losses after it was forced to manage the Russian business from Norway.

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A lawsuit has been filed with the Norwegian Defense and Justice Ministries. Authorities had to respond by noon on Friday, the NRK broadcaster said. They reportedly denied any responsibility.

The company runs a business in the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk. It experienced severe disruptions after Russia expelled its executives over suspected ties to the Norwegian secret service. The company’s Murmansk office CEO Atle Berge said he and his staffers had been approached by Norwegian intelligence agents a dozen times. He will not be able to return to Russia for another seven years.

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