The fighter project at Rygge Airport in Ostfold is being halted for the time being to finance President Donald Trump’s wall against Mexico.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper asks NATO allies to pick up the bill. But that is not what Secretary of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) wants to do, writes VG.
These are US authorities’ plans to strengthen Europe. It is therefore not natural for us to finance this single project if it were not to be realized, writes Secretary of State Tone Skogen (H) in the Ministry of Defense in an email to VG.
The base was to facilitate rapid reaction forces and is part of the EDI – European Deterrence Initiative, writes Bergens Tidende.
The initiative came about after Russia annexed Crimea. EDI will increase security and NATO’s responsiveness in Russia’s immediate areas.
The US has budgeted $10.3 million (NOK 94 million) for the project, which is scheduled to start in 2020. The plan was to house four fighter aircraft in Østfold. Another project on Rygge to improve the runway will not be stopped. It also has a limit of around $10 million.
In March of this year, it was first announced that Trump was planning to fund the wall by cutting defense spending, including at Rygge.
Rygge is not the only project stopped. Trump raises $32 billion by stopping or postponing 127 military projects.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today