Russia’s most influential defense politician is making some pretty strong statements about the deployment of 330 U.S. Marines to Norway.
Frants Klintsevich told Russian media that the recent U.S. military buildup in Vaernes–a city about 700 miles from the Russian border– could be ‘very dangerous’ for Norway and Norwegians.
“How should we react to this? We have never before had Norway on the list of targets for our strategic weapons. But if this develops, Norway’s population will suffer,” Klintsevich said. Norway’s defense minister says the deployment “does not constitute a US military base but is rather a test run that will be evaluated during 2017,” The Local reported.
The Commander of US Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, said the deployments would “provide an opportunity for the corps to train directly with Norwegian troops.” Norway has long been a base for NATO troops who require special cold climate training, according to The Daily Mail.
Before Norway joined NATO in 1949, the country assured what was then the Soviet Union that it would never allow foreign troops to be stationed there.
NATO-Russian relations have been very strained lately. Just last year, Russian officials warned Denmark their ships would become targets if they joined NATO’s missile defense system.
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