Norway defends Russia’s intention to create Arctic Group of Forces
Espen Barth   /  Photo:

Norway defends Russia’s intention to create Arctic Group of Forces

6 Apr, 06:00 PM

Norway has defended Russia's intention to create an Arctic Group of Forces, saying it would not be an aggressive act and that NATO should focus more on co-operation in the region, Russian web-site reports.

Russia's plan to create an Arctic Group of Forces is not a step towards military conflict in the High North and could actually help foster increased co-operation in the region.” Norwegian State Secretary for Defence Espen Barth Eide said.

Moscow has insisted that it has no intention of militarizing effect,the Arctic, saying its goal is to make the area "a zone of peace and co-operation". This view was endorsed by Barth Eide, who said Norway was "not concerned". He pointed to the increasing military investment of other Arctic countries, including Norway, and said this was "logical", given the potential for oil and gas reserves and dramatically shortened transport routes.

"I don't think an increased military presence needs to increase tensions if the interested parties are informed. Indeed, it can have the opposite " Espen Barth Eide said. "During the Cold War, for example, good intelligence was important to promote peace, as it could tell you what another country was not doing as well as what it was doing."

The plan to create the force was announced on March 27. It would be readily deployable across the vast region and maintain interoperability with the general Russian armed forces, border guard and coast guard. Special ammunition, weaponry and transport would be designed for the 'freezing temperature' task force.

Tags: Arctic Group of Forces, Norway, Russia

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