Russian Orthodox Church Acquires Properties With Full View Of Norway’s Military Bases

In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has been purchasing property on the Norwegian coast near significant military sites.

According to Norwegian daily Dagbladet, Epiphany Parish of the Moscow Patriarchate acquired an old prayer house in Sereida in 2016. The property is 3 kilometers in a straight line from Haakonsvern–the Royal Norwegian Navy’s main base and the largest naval base in the Nordic countries.

The religious organization also operates the parish of the Holy Great Martyr Irene in Stavanger, which is roughly a 15-minute walk from the JWC – NATO Joint Warfare Center.

Furthermore, ROC has property in Kirkenes, just a few kilometers from the Russian border. According to the article, the church purchased the parish of St. Tryphon of Pechenga in 2015. The area is recognized for its close relations with Russia, and many Russians live on the Norwegian side of the border.

The church also has a property in Norway’s capital called the Olginsky parish where services are held since 1996. There is also a Sunday school for children, an icon-painting class, and Orthodox lectures in Russian and Norwegian.

Personal sanctions have already been imposed on ROC head Patriarch Kirill for his support for a full-fledged war in Ukraine. Some European countries are requesting that he would be included to the EU sanctions list.

Following the news of partial mobilization in Russia, Patriarch Kirill urged Russians to go to the front and not be afraid to die. He also feels that the Russian military is fulfilling its “calling and duty to their homeland and society” by fighting Ukraine, and that their acts are “comparable to self-sacrifice.”

In an interview with the journal, security expert Alfa Sefland Winge warns that facilities owned by the ROC, such as Haakonsvern, “could be a problem” because the structures could be utilized for purposes other than religious.

“If you imagine the whole range of possible measures, then you can disrupt signals, perhaps eavesdrop on signals, you can control drones from there, you can offer housing to people who map the area. There is a wide range of geodetic activities and possible violations that can be performed from such a base,” said Winge.

Norway has taken over most of the Germany and EU’s gas import needs after Russia’s Gazprom closed off the Nord Stream 1 pipeline indefinitely, allowing the European countries to reach their targeted winter energy reserves.

Information for this briefing was found via Perild and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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