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Norway invites NATO countries to build bases for the development of the Arctic

22.02.2019 16:56

How is it in Norway? There are military bases and privileges. The northernmost country of the Scandinavian Peninsula is now particularly spoiled by the attention of NATO countries, which consider its territory as a springboard for entry into the Arctic. Once considered the outskirts of NATO Norway, which was defined only by the role of "supervisor", who oversees the passage of Russian ships and submarines from the Barents sea, began to reach key positions in the strategy of the Alliance.

Even before the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, the Norwegian government stated that it would not allow the establishment of foreign military bases on its territory in peacetime. The background of this event was following: the Soviet Union wanted to know about Norway's intentions regarding membership in NATO, and whether it will lead to the deployment of foreign troops on a permanent basis. Norway responded to the Soviet Union's concerns reassuringly. The answer sounded like:"the Norwegian government is not going to conclude any agreements with other States that would impose on Norway the obligation to open bases for military forces of foreign powers on Norwegian territory — until Norway is threatened or attacked." In accordance with Norway's basic policy, adopted in 1949, foreign States have no right to establish bases on the territory of the country in peacetime.

However, despite the commitments made, the Kingdom has taken the initiative to extend the agreement on the deployment in Norway of existing marine units, increasing their number twice. In addition, we can see an active modernization of airfields Bardufoss, Evenes, Banak, Erland and Rygge as well as port terminal Rotsund being updated to receive nuclear submarines of naval forces of the United States. There is a squadron of basic patrol aircraft "Poseidon" (Boeing R-8, patrol anti-submarine aircraft carrying torpedoes and anti-submarine bombs) of the US Navy on Annaya air base. The construction of a radar ABM station "Globus-3", located on the island of Warde is also in process at the moment. At the end of last year, NATO forces conducted a major exercise in Norway involving about 50 thousand soldiers, 150 aircraft and 60 ships.

Inspired by the vivid example of the United States, the United Kingdom decided to "absorb" Norway. It is likely that it is the presence of Norwegian NATO bases that will allow them to move North. The English Royal Navy is going to operate under the auspices of the "big brother" — the United States, whose interests in this region have recently increased significantly.

UK defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced on February 17, 2019 that the British military had begun deploying its forces in the Arctic. This statement was made by the official during a visit to the British Marines on the new military base Bardufoss in Northern Norway. The Royal Marines, according to the head of the Department, has already started a ten-year program, which involves the build-up of the British military presence in the region. It is assumed that the number of British troops "in the near future will increase to the brigade." Last year in September, the Minister claimed that a British military base will be opened in the North of Norway in 2019, and that London will send to the region 2,7 thousand British troops, six warships and 480 vehicles. As the Deputy Minister of defense of the United Kingdom Mark Lancaster explained it earlier, for London it is"more than ever important" to prepare the army to act in polar conditions, as "the Arctic and The far North are increasingly militarized."

Thus, we see that Norway, in addition to the realization of its own interests in the Arctic, including military methods, contributes to the active exploration of the region by other NATO countries, including those not directly related to it. Despite the seemingly good intentions of the Norwegian Kingdom, its actions, which entail increased militarization of the Arctic, increase the risk of escalation of the conflict in the region.