Russia

Moscow Tells Norwegian Envoy That Consul Who Said She ‘Hates Russians’ Cannot Stay in Country

Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in MoscowTim KorsoAn employee of Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk, Russia, was caught on record in the middle of an emotional rant during which she confessed that she “hate[s] Russians”. The consul was complaining about a room booking mix-up taking too long to resolve and her room being insufficiently clean.The Norwegian ambassador in Russia, Rune Resaland, was summoned by Moscow to be notified of the “unacceptable” behavior of one of the employees of Norway’s Consulate General, consul Elisabeth Ellingsen. Resaland was also informed that Ellingsen can no longer stay in the country following her statements.The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that although Oslo apologized for Ellingsen’s behavior, she nonetheless must leave the country.”We noted that the statement of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry expressing regret over this outrageous incident was taken into account by us. At the same time, we mentioned that Ellingsen cannot remain in the Russian Federation after this incident,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.The Norwegian consul was caught on camera ranting in the reception of the Azimut Hotel in Murmansk over an apparent room booking mix-up and her suite not being clean enough. During the rant, Ellingsen exclaimed that she “hate[s] Russians” and alleged that Russian women barely make any effort to clean.Russia‘Western Values’ on Display: Moscow Blasts Norwegian Diplomat Over ‘I Hate Russians’ Rant30 July, 13:01 GMTThe video footage caught the eye of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which described Ellingsen’s rant as an act of “hatred, nationalism and xenophobia,” suggesting that Oslo might need to take action over the incident. Norway apologized for the diplomat’s behavior but has not recalled her.

"The sentiments expressed in no way reflect Norwegian policy or Norwegian attitudes toward Russia and Russian people. The incident is being handled by the ministry through the appropriate channels," the Norwegian Foreign Ministry stated, adding that it deeply regretted the incident.

Russia-Norway relations are currently in a troubled state amid Oslo’s participation in western sanctions to pressure Moscow over the special military operation in Ukraine, as well as due to several bilateral issues. Among these issues are back-and-forth espionage claims, as well as a dispute over the Svalbard Archipelago. Oslo has actively militarized the archipelago and recently limited Moscow’s access to Russian-populated parts of it in violation of the 1920 Svalbard Treaty that regulated its special status.

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