The Norwegian government’s decision to approve the pilot project on the deployment of the U.S. Marine Corps servicemen in the western part of the country will not improve the security situation in northern Europe, spokesman for the Russian embassy in Oslo, Maksim Gurov, said in a statement.
“The rotational deployment of 330 servicemen of the U.S. Marine Corps to Vaernes will by no means facilitate the improvement of security situation in northern Europe,” the diplomat stated. Earlier the Russian embassy expressed surprise at the Norwegian government’s determination to approve this step “taking into consideration the numerous statements by Norwegian officials saying Russia poses no threat to Norway.”
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On Oct. 26, Norway’s Defense Ministry announced that Oslo had agreed to accommodate a U.S. marine unit at the Vaernes military base near Trondheim. They will start training there in January 2017 according to the pilot Norwegian-U.S. project on enhancing cooperation in the security sphere, which was initiated by Washington.
Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said that the pilot project stipulated the rotation of the U.S. military servicemen while no permanent U.S. military base was going to be established in Norway. According to Soreide, “the defense of Norway is dependent on allied reinforcements, and it is crucial for Norwegian security that our allies come here to gain knowledge of how to operate in Norway and with Norwegian forces.”