Russia bridles at Norway’s ‘far-fetched’ block on sale of engine maker

A view of Bergen Engines AS factory in Bergen
A view of factory premises of Bergen Engines AS in Bergen, Norway, March 9, 2021. Picture taken on March 9, 2021. NTB/Bjornar Moronning/via REUTERS

March 26, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday that Norway had blocked the sale of a Norwegian maritime engine maker to a Russian company on a far-fetched pretext of national security, and accused Oslo of trying to curtail Moscow’s commercial activities.

Norway’s justice minister told parliament on Tuesday that Oslo would block Rolls-Royce from selling Bergen Engines to TMH Group on security grounds.

Russia’s foreign ministry spokesman said the block was disconcerting and that the planned deal was purely commercial.

“The arguments that guided the Norwegian side … are simply far-fetched, that is obvious,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Friday.

“The cancellation of the (TMH Group) deal is in line with Oslo’s two-track approach towards our country in recent years, with a bias towards containing our country.”

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by John Stonestreet)