SV still wants Norway out of NATO – experts shake their heads

Audun LysbakkenGardermoen.The Socialist Left Party. Party leader Audun Lysbakken: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

While Norway’s neighbour Russia has occupied the Crimea on the third year and the Baltic NATO states tremble, the Socialist Party (SV) maintain their mantra that Norway should leave the defence alliance.

Meanwhile, all defence specialists disagree thunderously with them.

– A baffling standpoint right now, says Senior Svein Melby at the Institute for Defence Studies to Aftenposten.

– SV third alternative, between Russia and the United States, is more relevant than ever, counters SV leader Audun Lysbakken.

– We will replace the membership in NATO with a Nordic defence pact, he said.
Based on resistance against NATO.

SV has roots back to the Socialist People’s Party, founded in 1961 by dissidents from the Labour Party who disliked that party’s foreign policy and NATO membership.

During efforts to hammer out SV party program for the next period, 2017-2021, it has been doubts whether the party still wants Norway out of NATO.

The backdrop is Russia’s occupation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014, Russian build-up of its forces and NATO’s response by deploying several thousand troops along the Alliance’s eastern border, namely in the Baltic republics and Poland.

NATO discussion in the program committee

In winter there were some of those in the SV program committee, after what Aftenposten has been informed by sources close to the process, that wanted to make changes in this pivotal point, or at least make the formulation less bombastic.

But there is no trace of this in the draft that is to be put to the vote Sunday under Sunday’s SV-congress. The standpoint of the Committee is reported as being unanimous.

A well placed source in the party said central SV politicians are not averse to – in the light of developments in Russia – to reconsider the NATO standpoint, but they fear a debate will dominate the congress and overshadow everything else.

In 2014, amidst the Ukraine crisis, the National Board of SV struggled with criticizing Vladimir Putin’s Russia for what happened, and first passed a resolution that gave NATO the blame.

 

Source: bt.no / Norway Today

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