When NATO sends several thousand soldiers to eastern Europe, there will be no Norwegian troops taking part for now.
NATO is working to carry the resolution of greater military presence in Eastern Europe into effect. NATO plans on deploying around four battalion-sized forces totaling 4,000 soldiers from other countries.
– We of course support the principle that NATO also needs to make it presence known more clearly in the east, said Mr Børge Brende.
– But we can not send any soldiers or make any other concrete contributuions just now, he says referring to capacity considerations.
– Norway is still contributing troops in Afghanistan, contributing troops in Northern Iraq, we have agreed to provide military training in Jordan, and we are part of the UN mission in Mali. And we have the very difficult situation in the northern regions, Brende says to news agency NTB.
The Foreign Minister also notes that Norway has been heavily involved in NATO’s so-called pacifying efforts in the Baltic Sea region and the structure of the new rapid force of the defense alliance.
– So the rest of the alliance understand that we can not take part in this at this point, he believes.
However, it is a significant challenge for NATO to find the several thousand soldiers needed, and there is a great discussion within the Alliance on how the burden should be distributed among its countries. A NATO diplomat said he believes the alliance will manage to find the necessary troops, but “I don’t know excactly how it is to be done yet.”
US will probably have to play an important part once more, but Germany and the UK are also expected to take responsibility by leading one battalion each.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today