Norway will send troops to eastern Europe

Ine Eriksen SøreideForeign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide ( Conservative Party )Photo: Marita I. Wangberg, FD

Norway will contribute a company  battlegroup to NATO’s new battalions in Eastern Europe.

The Norwegian group will start there in 2017 and should be there for about six months.
– We will get back to how the excact arrangement will be,  Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide says to the Norwegian press at the NATO summit in Poland.

The four battalions in Poland and the Baltic states will collectively consist of up to 4,000 soldiers.
Germany is expected to lead the battalion in Lithuania, while the UK will be in charge of Estonia, the USA, Poland and Canada in Latvia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the battalions is one of several elements in the Alliance’s strengthened presence in the East.

– NATO will once more send a clear message that we are here to defend our allies, Stoltenberg said on his way to the NATO summit on Friday morning.
– The four battalions wil be multinational, which is a clear message that the attack on one of the NATO countries will trigger a response from the entire alliance, he said.

Russia accuses NATO of aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions near the Russian borders. Stoltenberg repudiates this.
– No one in NATO were suggesting a military presence in these areas until Russia annexed the Crimea, he said.
– NATO is not seeking confrontation. We do not want a new Cold War. The Cold War is history and should remain so.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today