Norway’s authorities should make steps toward Russia to normalize parliamentary ties following Federation Council employee Mikhail Bochkaryov’s detention in Oslo. Federation Council Deputy Speaker Ilyas Umakhanov told Russian journalists about it.
Despite Bochkaryov’s release, “the bad political taste remained,” he said. “If the Norwegian side, with which we have multi-format ties, including interregional ones, wants this taste not to linger, it should make some steps toward us,” the senator said on the sidelines of a parliamentary forum that was held in Buenos Aires ahead of a meeting of the G20 parliamentary heads.
“We expect to receive apology, which is a usual thing in diplomatic practice, because, if we look at this story in a retrospective way, no substantive explanation of this behavior was provided,” Umakhanov noted.
Federation Council employee Mikhail Bochkaryov was detained at Oslo Gardermoen Airport on September 21 and then arrested. According to the Norwegian side, Bochkaryov had been allegedly gathering information through wireless networks during a seminar of the European Center for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD) held in the Storting (Norway’s parliament – TASS). The Russian Embassy in Oslo stated that the case was manufactured.
On October 18, the Norwegian News Agency reported that Oslo District Court made the decision to release Bochkaryov, after which the Norwegian Police Security Service immediately appealed this decision, but revoked the appeal later. Two days later the Federation Council press service reported Bochkaryov’s return to Moscow. Bochakryov called the charges brought against him absurd and said that his lawyer is going to countersue Norway’s authorities.
The Russian senators voiced a protest over Bochkaryov’s detention and decided to refrain from visits to Norway in the near future for participation in events of interpaliamentary cooperation.