Norwegian authorities say that Russians are blackmailing government workers, including MPs, into revealing state secrets by tricking them with duplicitous gifts like vodka and attractive women—a well-known strategy from the Cold War era.
The head of counterintelligence for Norway’s Police Security Service, Arne Christian Haugstøyl, told state broadcaster NRK (link in Norwegian) that a growing number of Norwegians have been coming forward to report they have fallen into traps set by Russian spy agencies. He called the trend ”alarming” and said Norwegian officials “must be more aware of” the problem.
According to the Local, Haugstøyl suspects that Norwegians are particularly susceptible to being bamboozled when they are abroad, saying its people are too trusting when traveling outside the country. He also said that the number of blackmailing cases may be larger than authorities can account for ”because some people will undoubtedly feel the pressure is so large that they will not report it to us, or to their employer when they return” from a trip abroad.