Russia is furious with Norway and tensions are continuing to rise, after they allowed a reported 330 US marines into the country.
The results of this could become nuclear. A senior Russian politician warned Norway that they could become a nuclear target if they continue to allow the Marines into the country.
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The deputy chairman of Russia’s Defense and Security Committee, Frants Klintsevich, commented on the startling revelation claiming that the deployment of US Marines at Værnes was simply part of a US build-up and made Norway fair game in the event of a nuclear confrontation with Russia.
Klintsevich informed a local TV station that the Kremlin viewed the 330 US marines moving into Norway at a threat. Norway has been part of Nato since 1949 and joined only under the assurance that the Soviet Union would never allow foreign troops to be stationed there.
A local newspaper reported that the deputy chairman of Russia’s defense said of the deployment of US Marines: “This is 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.Because we need to react against definitive military threats. And we have things to react to, I might as well tell it like it is.”
Norway’s defense minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, chimed in rejecting Russia’s criticism of the deployment of US troops into Værnes which is near Trondheim, roughly 700 miles from the Russian border. He claimed this is only a test run and will be reconsidered at year’s end.
She added: “There is no objective reason for the Russians to react to this. But the Russians are reacting at the moment in the same way toward almost everything the Nato countries are doing.”
Commander of US Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, Major General Niel Nelson, said they’re using this as an opportunity to train directly with the Norwegian military.
He told the Marine Corps Times, “Having a rotational presence in Norway enhances the collective ability of our two forces to work together.”
Norway, unlike neighboring Sweeden, has long been a base for Nato troops who require special training in cold climates. This goes back to World War II when the country was occupied by Germans but they worked closely with the British.
The Red Army invaded Finnmark in 1944 but handed it back over to Norway after the war ended. One worrisome aspect of this threat is that Russian submarines have been detected in the Irish Sea, which is located between Moscow and Britain.
It seems relations between Nato and Russia have all but disintegrated, with both sides accusing the other of military moves. This will be one story to follow closely as Russia has steadily been engineering a nuclear arsenal.