Finland is now withdrawing from the Cold Response exercise due to the corona virus situation in Norway. The country was to participate with 400 soldiers in the exercise.
The Finnish Armed Forces state in a press release that they withdraw from the Cold Response exercise, which is taking place in Northern Norway these days.
Finland is the first country to withdraw from the exercise.
Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen, Senior Spokesperson at the Norwegian Joint Operations Headquarters, confirms to High North News that Finland withdraws from Cold Response 2020.
“We learned about it Sunday afternoon. The Finns were about to enter Norway today, and were to muster 400 soldiers on the ground, including a mechanic force. But that will not happen now.
Do you know if any other countries are considering withdrawing?
“We have not received signals about withdrawing from any other nations. All the others are still in.”
A Norwegian soldier tested positive for corona virus on 5 March, and that is the only person who has tested positive for the virus, the Norwegian Armed Forces inform.
How does the corona virus and the fact that Finland withdraws affect the exercise for the Norwegian forces?
- We are now looking at recomposing the two land-based parties, the North party and the South party. The biggest effect will be on the land side of things, where we will have to recompose and redesign the conducting of the exercise, based on the conditions given.
That said, it is important for us that we have a two-party composition that allows pretty even strength between the forces, says the spokesperson.
High North News will continue following Cold Response.
This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by HNN's Elisabeth Bergquist.