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Report: Norway sentences Russian for flying drone

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A 34-year-old Russian was sentenced to 90 days in prison on Wednesday for flying a drone and thereby breaching sanctions which came into force after Russia went to war against Ukraine.

The man, who was not identified, was not suspected of espionage, the Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende reported.

He admitted to flying the drone in southern Norway to photograph nature, the daily said, adding he claimed to be unaware that this was banned.

Under Norwegian law, it is prohibited for aircraft operated by Russian companies or citizens “to land on, take off from or fly over Norwegian territory.” Norway is not a member of the European Union but mirrors its moves and decided on the ban earlier this year after the invasion.

The prosecution had asked for a 120-day sentence. Prosecutor Marit Formo said she was “very satisfied with the verdict” of the Hordaland District Court.

Numerous drone sightings have been reported near offshore oil and gas platforms belonging to NATO member Norway, a major oil and gas producer, in recent weeks. Several Russian citizens have been detained over the past few weeks for flying drones or taking photographs of sensitive sites in Norway.

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