A British-Russian son of an oligarch with close links to Vladimir Putin was arrested in Norway

Andrei Yakunin is the son of Vladimir Yakunin the Russian Railways boss. He is the seventh Russian to have been arrested for illegal flight or unauthorised photography.

After Moscow invaded Ukraine, Norway prohibited Russians from flying by drones or aircraft over its territory.

After the September Russian sabotage of Nord Stream’s gas pipelines, Oslo increased security around critical infrastructure.

47-year-old Mr Yakunin is charged with illegally flying a drone within the Svalbard archipelago. This archipelago is located in the geopolitically important Arctic region.

On Monday, he was detained in Hammerfest in northern Norway. His Russian passport was found when police searched his yacht Firebird.

After police claimed that he might try to flee, he was taken into custody and his drones and electronic devices were confiscated.

For flying the drone, he could face a three-year sentence. Unauthorized photography may only be able to earn a one-year sentence.

Anja Mikkelsen, a police official, stated that the suspect had admitted to flying a drone in Svalbard.

“He admitted to flying a drone but did not believe it was illegal. Jens Bernhard Herstad, a lawyer, stated that he is British.

The boat had been sailing around the Svalbard archipelago in Norway, which is strategically located in the Arctic, with a large Russian community. It also sailed along the Norwegian coast for several months.

Mr Yakunin, who now lives in Italy, but used to be a London resident, stated that he never voted for Vladimir Putin and that he opposed the war in Ukraine.

After Moscow’s illegal 2014 annexation, his father was added to the US sanctions list.

After his son applied for British citizenship in 2015, the loyal Putin ally was dismissed. The Russian President was believed to have considered it a “betrayal”.

Norway’s prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store blamed “foreign Intelligence” for the spate of drone sightings in recent weeks. This is thought to be a veiled accusation against Moscow.

After the invasion of Ukraine, Norway became the main supplier of the EU of gas. The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline resulted in increased security for oil and gas platforms.

After a drone was seen near Bergen airport, Norway’s second-largest city, Mr Store stated that it was unacceptable for foreign intelligence to fly drones above Norwegian airports. He also said that the drone temporarily suspended air traffic.

Moscow’s embassy in Oslo stated Monday that “hysteria in Norway” was impacting “ordinary tourists”, and called the ban on Russians flying drones “unjustified, discriminatory.”

The main parties in Finland supported plans to construct a fence along the 830-mile border with Russia to stop large-scale illegal crossings.

Helsinki fears that Putin could weaponize migrants after 40,000 people crossed into Finland to join his army.

Some people have left Finland to seek asylum in other EU countries. Others have fled Finland, according to Pekka Haavisto (Finland’s foreign minister), who was on Wednesday on a visit to London.

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