Norwegian businessmen and politicians are being blackmailed into working for Russia's spy agencies after falling for Cold War-style honey traps involving drink and beautiful women, the country's secret service has warned.
Arne Christian Haugstoyl, the Police Security Service (PST's) section head for counter-intelligence, said several prominent Norwegians had been targeted. "We have received reports of Norwegian citizens who have been blackmailed to deliver information to Russian authorities," he said.
"This is an alarming development that we must become more aware of."
In a previous interview, Mr Haugstoyl described how Russian agents used a variety of time-tested techniques to recruit sources.
He said: "It can be anything from honey traps, which you've heard of. You may have drunk a lot of alcohol. The thing with lady friends - if you are not in a situation where that should happen, there may be pressure afterwards if it's documented."
This summer, Tor Andre Johnsen, an MP with the Progress Party, the junior partner in Norway's ruling coalition, received a warning from PST about his informal relationships with officials in the Russian embassy. According to NRK, several other Norwegian MPs have since been interviewed by PST about their contacts with Russians, although none were willing either to be named or to discuss the reasons for PST's interest. The Russian embassy in Oslo rejected the accusation.