A man walks in front of the main building of the Moscow State University on July 30, 2022 in Moscow. Russia’s foreign ministry Saturday (Sunday in Manila) denounced the “outrageous” behavior of a Norwegian consul in Russia, after security footage of her insulting Russians at a hotel reception was shared on social media. AFP PHOTO
Moscow, Russia: Russia’s foreign ministry Saturday (Sunday in Manila) denounced the “outrageous” behavior of a Norwegian consul in Russia, after security footage of her insulting Russians at a hotel reception was shared on social media.
In the video, posted on a Telegram channel reputed to be close to the Russian security services on Saturday, a woman introduced as Elisabeth Ellingsen, Norwegian consul in the Arctic city of Murmansk, appears exasperated as she waits for a clean room.
“I hate Russians… Just give me a room… I’m used to clean rooms, I’m from Scandinavia,” she says in the edited version of the footage on the Mash channel.
On Saturday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 500,000 times.
Russian diplomatic spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Telegram: “The Russian foreign ministry is considering a reaction to this outrageous act of hatred, nationalism and xenophobia.”
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The Norwegian foreign ministry said it “deeply regretted” the incident.
“The sentiments expressed do not reflect Norwegian policy or the Norwegian attitude toward Russia and the Russian people,” it assured Agence France-Presse, adding that the ministry was dealing with the incident “through the appropriate channels”.
According to the website of the Norwegian embassy in Moscow, the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk has been temporarily closed since July 1, due to the “difficult” situation in bilateral relations.
The Norwegian foreign ministry did not specify whether the incident took place before or after the temporary closure of the consulate.
The diplomatic incident comes at a time of great tension in relations between Russia and the West over Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, which has prompted a volley of European and US sanctions against Moscow.