Solberg: NATO must not forget the Northern seas

Prime Minister Erna SolbergPrime Minister Erna Solberg.Photo : Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

The gaze is towards the East and South when NATO gathers for a summit in Poland. Prime Minister Erna Solberg fears that the Northern seas will disappear from view.

The need to ensure the maritime strategy in NATO is one of the key messages from the Norwegian side, says Solberg.
She fears that this will be forgotten with  NATO now directing a strong spotlight  eastwards and southwards.
– One forgets that it is difficult to secure supply lines if you do not control the seas, says Solberg .

– In order to bring in boats and equipment, you must have control over the air and sea, she said.
Important for Norway
Solberg will have both Foreign Minister Brende (H) and Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) in tow when she travels to the summit in Warsaw at the end of the week.
The Prime Minister does not deny that safety at sea and in the North is of particular interest to Norway. This is something we have bitter experience of from World War II, she points out.

– We do not think Russia intends to attack us, but we know where we are located, says Solberg.
– We have a coastline that is an entrance port for being able to control very important ocean areas, and our areas in the North are situated very close to Russia’s strategic submarines, she says.