In 2021, the Norwegians were actively discussing the establishment of U.S. military bases in their country. The U.S. was willing to establish three airfields and one naval base in Norway. In April 2021, a revised U.S. agreement on the regulation of U.S. defense activities on Norwegian territory was signed. As a result, the U.S. gained control of the aforementioned facilities.
But at that time, the U.S. could not establish its facilities in Norway. Oslo refused other countries to have permanent military bases on the territory of the country in order not to provoke Russia.
«It was out of the question to establish bases for foreign troops in peacetime,» confirmed Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Serenade.
Now the Norwegian leadership has approved a new agreement between the U.S. and Norway that gives the U.S. a military beachhead on the Norwegian territory.
Conservative defense policy spokesman Harek Elvenes said: «The agreement is crucial for Norway’s security. The U.S. security guarantee is essential to our ability to contain and defend the country.»
Most Norwegian politicians approved of such an initiative, as it would help build up Norway’s military capacity. The U.S. would be allowed to build its buildings on Norwegian bases with restricted access of anyone to the territory, to bring its equipment even without proper inspection by Norway. Unimpeded entry and exit from Norway will be established for both US civilians and military personnel. U.S. military personnel will be tried in a U.S. court if crimes are committed on Norwegian territory. However, there are certain restrictions, the U.S. will not be able to store nuclear weapons, mines, and cluster munitions in Norway.
Russia, on June 3, froze cooperation with Norway in the sphere of nuclear safety. The decision was taken by the Norway’s Foreign Ministry. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed the information.
She stated: “In connection with the unfriendly line taken by the Kingdom of Norway against our country after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, Oslo’s joining the anti-Russian sanctions of the European Union and attempts to exert economic and political pressure on our country, it was decided to suspend cooperation with Norway in the field of nuclear and radiation safety. During the May 31 meeting of the specialized commission, the Norwegian side announced the freezing of further work and implementation of projects under bilateral agreements.
There is nothing surprising about this agreement. U.S. carte blanche in Norway has long been based on the April 2021 agreement between Norway and the U.S., as well as the presence of NATO military bases in Norway. Norwegian relations with Russia have noticeably deteriorated recently. Now there is an additional threat for Russia due to U.S. bases in Norway, which does not contribute to security in the region.
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