Norway's decision to allow us Navy nuclear submarines to use the port of Tromso angered Russian diplomats. The Russian Embassy said it was recording the growing militarization of Norway, which has taken on the role of a NATO Outpost on the border, and questioned the independence of Norwegian politics.
The Russian Embassy argued with Norwegian defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen about the "good-neighborly" relations between Russia and Norway
On Monday evening, the Russian Embassy in Oslo said on Facebook that Norway had damaged good-neighborly relations between the two countries.
The report was published after Frank Bakke-Jensen, in an interview with Nordlys and Klassekampen Newspapers, spoke about the "advantages" that Norway will receive by allowing nuclear submarines to enter the port of Tensnes in Troms, and about "very good contacts with its Eastern neighbor."
"Unfortunately, the reality is that at the initiative of Norway, full-fledged military cooperation is frozen. Systematic dialogue at the political level between our countries and relations between the security services are kept to a minimum. The Norwegian government rejected all Russian initiatives to restore cooperation, " the Embassy said in a statement.
The NATO Outpost
The Norwegian armed forces want the US Navy to be able to call nuclear submarines using a civilian municipal pier in Gretsund, 15 kilometers North of the center of Tromso. Local politicians in Tromso would prefer to limit themselves to civil courts, writes Nordlys.
"Norway has taken the role of a NATO Outpost on the border with our country on its own initiative, without any provocation or threat from Russia. We record the growing militarization of Norway, systematic anti-Russian exercises, and the transfer of large foreign contingents on Norwegian territory to a permanent basis, contrary to the traditional "basic policy"," the Embassy writes.
Published by Russian Embassy in Norway Monday, November 9, 2020
"It seems to us that Norwegian politicians should spend their energy and people's funds on strengthening peace in the North, not destroying it," it adds.
Doubts about Norway's independence
"Relations are not very good now, and such statements only emphasize this. The Russians hint that they believe Norwegian security policy is determined outside the country. They question Norway's independence and its ability to formulate its own policies, " commented Ingerid Opdal, head of the Russian program At the Institute for defense studies.
Municipal politicians and the Tromso administration do not want foreign submarines to enter the municipality's ports.
The "boat" dispute between the Tromso municipality and the government culminated in late October. After that, the municipality received a clear signal from defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen to assist American submarines. If it doesn't, the government will step in, Nordlys said.