Russia will become more authoritarian and militarized, Norwegian intelligence says

13 February, 08:44 PM
Russian military personnel (Photo:REUTERS/Kirill Braga)

Russian military personnel (Photo:REUTERS/Kirill Braga)

Russian propaganda and public opinion manipulation will only intensify, leaving Moscow with little choice but to seek closer ties with authoritarian regimes around the world, Norwegian intelligence said in its annual risk assessment on Feb. 13, as reported by French news agency AFP.

“There is no turning back: Russian interests will not be compatible with those of the West,” the report reads.

According to Lars Nordrum, second in command of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, the war against Ukraine was a disaster for Russia. It led to unprecedented trade sanctions, Moscow's international isolation, and Russia's loss of more than 100,000 troops – killed or wounded.

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Norwegian intelligence also suggests that Russian aggression against Ukraine has increased the geopolitical importance of Norway, not least due to the fact that it has become a key supplier of natural gas to Europe.

“European countries will be dependent on Norwegian energy supplies for many years,” Nordrum said.

That’s what makes the Norwegian Internal Intelligence Service worry of Russia's increased intelligence activity in relation to the Norwegian energy sector.

Norwegian head of domestic intelligence Beate Gangas stated that direct sabotage of Norwegian energy infrastructure by Russia in 2023 remains unlikely.

“However, acts of sabotage could become a more relevant scenario if Russia’s willingness to escalate the conflict with NATO and the West were to increase,” Gangas added.

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