Norway refuses deployment of NATO anti-missile shield on its soil

The Norwegian authorities announced thatthey refused the deployment of American anti-missile detection and interception systems on its soil, as requested by NATO. By doing this, Oslo wants not to further inflame already tense relations with Moscow, even if it would offend Washington.

The Norwegian authorities, who are in the process of drafting a new White Paper on Defense to take into consideration the rapid strengthening of Russian forces in Northern Europe and the Arctic, announced this week that the Defense budget would increase by 2 billion Norwegian crowns, or 4 million Euros, the largest increase in the 240 budget, to finance the acquisitions necessary to modernize its forces. At the same time, the Norwegian General Staff, commanded by General Jakobson, made its recommendations to guide the next White Paper on Defense, advocating a sharp increase in material and human resources, and in particular the creation of a second active combat brigade within the land forces.

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The Norwegian General Staff calls for the creation of a second combat brigade in the country

Oslo seems to have decided to only reinforce the forces which will be assimilated by Moscow as conventional forces, so as to maintain a direct channel of discussion with the Kremlin. Indeed, when Denmark announced the acquisition of AEGIS anti-missile systems to equip its class destroyers Iver Eightfeldt, the Russian authorities immediately took retaliatory measures against the country, and announced that, from now on, Denmark was among the priority targets of Russian strategic forces. If, obviously, many of these declarations are only diplomatic gesticulations, it nevertheless appears that Norway is moving towards a more independent Defense policy, keeping within its reach areas of negotiations with Moscow, a position much closer to that traditionally held by Paris than by Oslo.

The axis chosen by the Norwegian authorities is interesting, because it corresponds well to the current vision which prevails in the Kremlin. Indeed, the Russian authorities do not show any notable negative reactions to the strengthening of the capabilities of its neighbors' conventional forces, nor, for that matter, to defense initiatives between European countries. On the other hand, when the subjects concern strategic capabilities, such as anti-missile shields, or the deployment of American forces, his reactions are much more virulent. In fact, by strengthening its conventional forces and refusing the deployment of the American anti-missile shield, Norwegian leaders intend to show their Russian counterparts that they have understood the rules of the game, and that they are complying with them.

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The Russian response to the Norwegian refusal could well open areas of negotiation between European countries and Russia regarding the post-INF treaty

It will therefore be very interesting and instructive to observe the response made by President Putin to this decision during the celebrations of the liberation of the Scandinavian peninsula by Soviet forces, which will take place in a few weeks. According to this, it could be an interesting area of ​​negotiation to be exploited by the Europeans. following the end of the INF Treaty, to avoid seeing a repeat of a situation similar to that which led to the Euromissile crisis in 1983, considered by many to be the most important crisis of the Cold War alongside that of Cuba.

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