Speaking on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Lavrov said Tuesday, "Do you realize he was invited by the Norwegian parliament? Norwegian hospitality." Mikhail Bochkarev was arrested Friday while attending a conference on strengthening cooperation between Europe's parliamentary administrations. Moscow strongly denied the charges, calling it an example of "spy mania around Russia" and demanded his release.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the case wasn't political. Norwegian media reported that the man is a Russian parliamentary IT adviser whose behavior at the two-day conference prompted parliamentary officials to contact the intelligence service.