Oslo: Moseev-case raises concern

Ivan Moseev is promoting the Pomor culture and Norwegian, Russian cooperation in the north. Photo: Andrey Shalyov / BarentsObserver.

“It causes attention that a person like Moseev is put on trial for the reasons mentioned here,” Norway’s Foreign Ministry says.


Norway’s Foreign Ministry says to BarentsObserver that they are concerned about the up-coming case. Russia’s FSB want to have Arkhangelsk Citizen Ivan Moseev put on trial for incitement of ethnic hatred and alleged high treason, as reported by BarentsObserver on Friday.

“We express our concern that this happens. We will follow the case and take it up in contexts that are natural,” says Foreign Ministry spokesman Kjetil Elsebutangen.

The case files against Moseev reads: “Norwegian secret services are using Ivan Moseev to destabilize the social-political situation in Arkhangelsk.” …and… “With support from foreign networks Moseev has been carrying out activities aiming at making federal Russian authorities recognize the Pomors as an indigenous minority of the North and including their territory of residence under the jurisdiction of international law, which can lead to a violation of Russia’s territorial integrity.”

Norway’s Foreign Ministry sees the case very differently.

Moseev promotes history and culture
“From the Norwegian side Moseev is perceived as a person with an interest and commitment to promote the old culture and traditions he is a part of.”

Contact partners of Ivan Mossev in Northern Norway told BarentsObserver on Friday that he has been a primus motor in re-establishing the cultural and historical relations between Arkhangelsk and Vardø.

Vardø was the gateway to Northern Norway for the Pomor sailers from the White Sea area before the Russian 1917 revolution.

Twitter: Shock and fear
Since BarentsObserver first reported about the Moseev-case yesterday, many Russians are actively debating the issue on Twitter expressing surprise, shock and fear. 

One Twitter message re-copies an old slogan from a communist propaganda poster: “Yeah, soon it will be as follows: “Today he dances jazz, and tomorrow – he will betray his Fatherland.”

Another reads: “Today we are all Pomors” and yet another says “FSB are making up enemies to keep themselves busy.” One person asks via Twitter: “I am making a Dictionary for the Evenks and wonder if they also could be charged with high treason.” A laconic reply reads: “Only if you got support from Norway.”

Barents cooperation a priority
“Seen with Norwegian eyes, it causes attention that a person like Moseev is put on trial for the reasons mentioned here,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kjetil Elsebutangen says.

The Barents cooperation and Norway’s bilateral cooperation with Russia in the north is a priority in the Government’s foreign policy.

“In general, the Norwegian Government is committed to strengthening people-to-people cooperation between Norway and Russia, and welcomes involvement related to our common history and cultural ties. This goal we share with the Russian authorities, which among other things are expressed in a broad bilateral cooperation and collaboration in for instance the Barents Council. We cannot possibly see that such public involvement would give rise to suspicion of subversive activities against either the Norwegian or Russian government,” says Kjetil Elsebutangen.