– RusVesna – Translated by James Harmon
Russia has stated it will respond to the deployment of elements of a NATO missile defense system (NMD / Euro-ABM) in Norwegian territory.
In an interview with Dagbladet newspaper, Russia’s ambassador to Norway Teimuraz Ramishvili, stated Russia will respond.
“On our side, there will follow an answer not just to Norway but to the whole of NATO” – said the diplomat.
Ramishvili said that Russia and Norway may have different points of view on the issue of NATO missile shield, but neighbors should engage in dialogue and find a solution that satisfied both sides. According to him, the Scandinavian kingdom’s elites refuse to discuss with Moscow the disturbing question of the future role of Norway in the European missile defense system.
“Russia does not aspire to the militarization of the Arctic”, – assured Ramishvili. He also urged the Norwegian authorities to reflect on the implications of the new security policy before a decision on the Norwegian contribution to European missile defense will be accepted.
According to the diplomat, this is a serious problem in relations between Russia and Norway – the lack of dialogue. “Today Russia communicates regularly with the political leadership and the US military leaders, but not with the leadership of the Norwegian Armed Forces. It’s very sad”, said the ambassador.
He added that Moscow and Oslo until 2013 had a strong relationship, and the two countries have always been able to solve their problems.
“Look what is happening today. From 2014 to 2016 the Norwegian-Russian trade turnover has decreased by 70 percent, and this should not be the case.”, stated the ambassador.
The United States stressed that the main objective of these facilities, that is, a newly created European missile defense system planned for completion by 2018, is to protect Europe against a potential attack from Iran. In turn, Moscow states that the deployment of missile defense system in Europe is a threat to Russian national security.
In 2015, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg announced the country’s readiness to contribute to the creation of the European missile defense system. Recommendations of the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies and the US Missile Defense Agency in this regard must be submitted to the Norwegian government before the end of 2017. In particular, it is possible that the United States may place new radar on the Norwegian arctic island of Vardo in the borders of Russia, further exacerbating an already tense situation.