US authorities are said to have contacted Norway and other allied countries to find imprisoned Russians who could be replaced by two Americans in prison in Russia.
The journalist was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of espionage against Russia. The basis for the suspicion of espionage is not known, and the United States believes that it is completely unfounded.
The United States currently has no high-ranking Russian citizens in prison who could be related to the exchange agreement with Russia.
He must have contacted Norway
American CNN now refers to NorwayWho accused the Russian of espionage Mikhail Mikushin is under arrest. He was arrested by the PST in Tromso on October 24 last year.
According to the TV channel, the US authorities have had contacts with countries such as Norway, Brazil and Germany, all of which have recently arrested Russian citizens on suspicion of espionage.
A former Eastern Bloc country is also said to have heard from the US to find someone who could be part of a possible prisoner exchange between the US and Russia.
The Wall Street Journal It is also reported that the United States is studying the possibility of exchanging Gershkovich with Russians who are in other countries.
Mikosjen, suspected of espionage, remained in Norway under the name of José Assis Gyamaría (40). He held a Brazilian passport, and was known as a researcher at the University of Tromsø.
PST thinks it is the same A Russian citizen, whose real name is Mikhail Valerievich MikushinAnd that he went to Norway on a mission for Russian intelligence.
Lawyer Marianna Luzic showed the US media reports to her client who is in Kungsfinger Prison, Department of Foreign Inmates.
—but I have no comment on his reaction to those, Lozic tells VG.
It lacks a legal basis
– I do not find that the exchange of prisoners between states is regulated anywhere in Norwegian legislation, says Ingveld Bruce, an expert in criminal law and associate professor at the Norwegian Police Academy.
Bruce points to the fact that it is known from the media that Russia demanded that the criminal case against Frode Berg must be concluded in the form of a judgment, before it would be appropriate for Russia to accept the exchange agreement with the Norwegian authorities.
– I think that the prerequisite should be that the person you want to exchange must agree to it, she adds.
– The prosecution must then assess the criminal case itself – whether there are considerations that need to be brought to a final judgment, or whether the case can be dropped, she told VG.
The VG was unable to obtain confirmation from the Norwegian side that the American authorities had contacts with a view to exchanging prisoners. But such requests often come in the strictest confidence and confidentiality due to the sensitive nature of the issues.
For a period in 2019, Paul Whelan and Freudberg were both in Lefortovo Prison in Moscow.
Berg was exchanged at the border between Kaliningrad and Lithuania in the fall of 2019, and was subsequently able to return home to Kirkenes as a free man. Paul Whelan is serving a 16-year prison sentence outside Moscow.
The United States and Russia have exchanged prisoners twice in recent years:
In April 2022, Trevor Reed is repatriated to the United States from a Russian prison. At the same time, a Russian pilot, who was convicted of smuggling cocaine, is sent in the opposite direction.
In December 2022, American basketball star Brittney Griner is released in Russia, in exchange for a Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a separate channel was agreed to discuss a prisoner exchange when US President Joe Biden met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva in 2019.
– Lavrov said during a visit to the United Nations in April that this action cannot be public, and publicity here will only complicate operations. The New York Times.
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Decline in Norwegian students completing their studies abroad – NRK Rogaland – Local news, TV and radio