Minister of Defense rejects criticism regarding NATO exercise
The Socialist Party (SV) believes that it can provoke the Russians that an American aircraft carrier is involved in the NATO exercise in Norway. The Minister of Defence welcomes the ship.
the US aircraft carrier, USS Harry S. Truman, will participate in NATO’s large “Trident Juncture” exercise in Norway.
This is the first time since 1989, that an American aircraft carrier group is in Norwegian waters.
– It’s unfortunate in relation to Russia, says Lars Haltbrekken (SV) to NRK.
– Allowing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier along the Norwegian coast at this point in time, just before the exercise is about to start, is unfortunate. We require the Ministry of Defense to account for the safety assessments they have made regarding this matter.
He believes the American visit can make the relationship with Russia more strained than it already is.
Norway is not responsible
As a host nation, Norway does not take a stand on single contributions to the exercise, that is NATO’s responsibility. This applies to the US aircraft carrier as well, Minister of Defense, Frank Bakke-Jensen (Conservatives), writes in a press release.
– Norway has welcomed all contributions. That also applies to US contributions within the framework of NATO, he writes.
He adds that the defence of Norway is based on allied support and that it is therefore important that relevant allied capacities exercise and practice here, especially on the maritime side.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier arrives in Norway within a week with around 6,000 servicemen and -women on board.
The Armed Forces will not be surprised if the presence of the vessel in Norwegian coastal waters will provoke Russia.
– We must be prepared for a Russian response. they will probably send some vessels out to sniff around a bit and maybe add some barbed diplomatic responses. D There may also be Russian aviation movements we have to respond to, a military source tells NRK.
A total of 40,000 soldiers from 30 countries will participate in this year’s NATO exercise.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today