23/7 Tass 165
MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg on Saturday to express condolences on the death of people in a bomb blast in Oslo and an attack on the youth camp in Utoya.
The prime minister’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said during the conversation, Putin conveyed his sympathies to Stoltenberg on the tragedy.
“On behalf of the Russian government Vladimir Putin expressed solidarity with the people of Norway in these tragic days,” Peskov said.
In his words, Putin conveyed his sympathies to the next of kin.
According to latest reports, the death toll from the blast in Oslo’s parliamentary quarters and the attack on the youth camp in Utoya reached 92. Local police said both crimes were committed by the same man, 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik.
Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who held a press conference on Saturday morning, said it is possible that more than one person was involved in the bombing and shooting attacks.
TV2 has reported that a second man was arrested in the city of Sundsvoll, outside the hotel where the Prime Minister along with the Justice Secretary and Foreign Minister were visiting survivors and victims’ relatives. The channel stressed that it is far too early to determine if the detainee is in fact the second gunman. He was found to be carrying a knife in his pocket.
The man, who identified himself as Alexander Stavedal, was standing next to reporters when the police apprehended him. Before being taken away by the officers, the man said he was a member of the Labour Party’s youth wing and was carrying a knife because he felt unsafe, the Associated Press reports.
Russia deeply condoles with the families of those killed in terrorist acts in Norway, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“An international response to such insensate acts of violence will be further strengthening of cooperation between states and civil society to counteract extremism and crime,” the statement said.
“We express sincere condolences to the families of the killed and convey sympathies with those wounded. We express our solidarity with Norwegians in these sorrowful days,” the ministry stressed.
A spokesman for Moscow police told Itar-Tass that no robust security measures had been taken around the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. “Police are working in a regular regimen,” the spokesman said.
However, the Russian people are coming to the embassy to express condolences on the disastrous terrorist acts in Norway. They lay flowers and light candles.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also expressed his condolences to King Harald V of Norway and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Kremlin press service reported.
“Please take my sincere condolences over the tragedy that took so many innocent lives. Be sure in this difficult time we express our solidarity and empathy to the friendly Norwegian people,” Medvedev said.
“I am confident that those who are behind these cruel and insensate crimes will be brought to responsibility and carry punishment,” the telegram said. The Russian president also asked to convey his “sincere condolences to the relatives of the killed and to wish a soonest recovery to those wounded.”