According to Sergei Stepura, Deputy Head of the regional office of the Federal Security Service, 24 attempts of foreign intelligence agents to obtain information in the Murmansk Region have been registered since the beginning of the year 2002.
Over 60 foreign military intelligence agents took unsanctioned trips to restricted access locations. Especially active was Simon Lister, a military attache from the British Embassy in Moscow, who, according to Mr. Stepura, tried to drive his car into the most important locations of the Northern Fleet.
Mr. Lister was repeatedly detained by the militia and the Federal Security Service, yet continued his attempts. After a stern official protest on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Mr. Lister was recalled to Great Britain.
Besides the British military intelligence, there were registered attempts at illegal activities in the Murmansk Region on the part of the US, France, and Norway. For instance, four Norwegian citizens were detained near the town of Polyarny, inside a restricted access zone, while trying to take photographs of military installations. The transgressors have been expelled from Russia and will not be able to enter the country over the following 5 years.
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