Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is questioning the Allies’ increased military presence in the north.
‘’We note the increased activity of NATO and NATO members. We have discussed this with our Norwegian neighbours, and we would like to know what kind of mandate NATO operates in the Arctic’’ said Lavrov during the major security conference in Munich on Saturday.
According to him, one can sometimes get the impression that NATO Allies believe that “no one except NATO has the right to be anywhere”.
Russia has repeatedly criticised Norway for facilitating increased allied presence in the north. It is especially the escalation of US military activity in Norway that provokes Lavrov.
Lavrov’s statement at the security conference came in response to a written question from former Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide of Arbeiderpartiet (AP).
What he wanted to answer was whether it would be possible to shield the cooperation in the Arctic from the rest of the deterioration of the relationship between Russia and the West.
“If it’s up to us, the answer is a categorical yes” Lavrov said.
He added that Russia wants to keep the military dimension out of this cooperation.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today