Norway consul shown the door after ‘I hate Russians’ outburst

Friday, Aug 05, 2022

MOSCOW: Moscow said on Thursday that a Norwegian consul can no longer stay in Russia after she was filmed declaring “I hate Russians” during an angry outburst at a hotel reception.

“After what happened, Elisabeth Ellingsen’s presence in Russia is impossible,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Earlier in the day the foreign ministry summoned Norwegian Ambassador Rune Resaland and protested about Ellingsen’s “insulting Russophobic remarks”. The Norwegian diplomat was recorded insulting Russians at a hotel reception in the Arctic city of Murmansk.

The video was posted over the weekend by the Mash Telegram channel, reputed to be close to the Russian security services, and sparked an outcry in the country. “I hate Russians... Just give me a room... I’m used to clean rooms, I’m from Scandinavia,” Ellingsen was recorded as saying in English.

Ellingsen’s outburst comes at a time of tensions between Russia and the West over Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, which has prompted a volley of European and US sanctions against Moscow.

The Norwegian foreign ministry said at the weekend it “deeply regretted” the incident.

“The sentiments expressed do not reflect Norwegian policy or the Norwegian attitude towards Russia,” the foreign ministry said. On Thursday, Moscow said it had taken note of the Norwegian foreign ministry’s statement.

A spokeswoman for the Norwegian foreign ministry, Guri Solberg, said on Thursday the country’s ambassador had been informed that Moscow had revoked Ellingsen’s visa.

The ambassador repeated that the consul’s statements “do not reflect Norwegian policy”, Solberg said, adding that Ellingsen was not currently in Russia. Norway said in June that it was temporarily closing the consulate general in Murmansk.