- The situation has not changed: Be it Værnes in Central Norway, Rygge in Southern Norway or Setermoen i Northern Norway. Taking such steps raises serious concerns with us, the Russian Embassy says in a comment to the fact that the number of American marine soldiers in Norway will increase.
On Tuesday this week, news broke that the Norwegian government will allow more allied military training in Norway, and that more American soldiers may be sent to Northern Norway "should the dialogue with the Americans lead to an agreement".
Russia’s Ambassador to Norway, Teimuraz Otarovich Ramishvili, has in earlier interviews with High North News expressed Russian dissatisfaction with the American forces’ presence in Værnes, Central Norway.
HNN has tried to get a comment from the Russian Embassy to the fact that Norwegian authorities now facilitate doubling the number of American soldiers on Norwegian soil. So far, the Russian Embassy has not responded, however, it nevertheless commented on the news on its own Facebook pages yesterday.
- Hostile actions
- Such actions violate the Norwegian 1949 decision to "not open bases for foreign countries’ armed forces on Norwegian territory as long as Norway has not been attacked or exposed to threats of attack". They make Norway less predictable, may increase tension, incite an arms race and lead to destabilization of the situation in Northern Europe. We qualify them as clearly hostile and they will not remain without consequences.
There is no information about who has written or posted the Facebook post, however, the post goes on as follows:
- Statements saying that the contingent is not permanent but on a rotating basis should not mislead anyone, because even though specific persons are exchanged, the presence is nevertheless continual (the same goes for any military base or, for instance, an embassy). Soldiers ‘train’ across the whole country, amongst others in the North. There is no excluding the possibility that they may be sent to other countries in the area, including non-aligned ones.
Criticizes Norway for lack of dialogue
- What also concerns us are the recurring calls to increase the defense budget while Norway is already second only to the USA in NATO when it comes to defense spending per inhabitant. Compared to the NATO countries, Russia uses 18 times less on its defense. Russia’s defense budget has decreased since 2017 and will in 2019 comprise some USD 46 billion.
"It causes a particular concern that plans are realized in Oslo under lack of substantial bilateral political dialogue and full contact between the military, which the Norwegian side avoids in every way possible", the Facebook post says – and concludes:
- We believe that security in Europe should be equal and inseparable. It can only be built on the basis of maintaining true national interest, mutual respect and cooperation. The sooner Oslo realizes that, the better.
Les artikkelen på norsk