RUSSIA has told Norway that their diplomatic ties will suffer as a result of the country’s decision to host 330 US Marines for longer than first anticipated.
Norway announced this week that the US Marines will remain in the country until the end of 2018, a year longer than planned.
On Saturday, the Russian Embassy in Norway said: “We have repeatedly explained our point of view on the issue of setting up a US military base in the territory of Norway.
“We consider that this step contradicts Norwegian policy of not deploying foreign military bases in the country in times of peace, steps out of line of the traditions of good neighbourhood, makes Norway not fully predictable partner, can also escalate tension and lead to destabilisation of the situation in the Northern region,’ the embassy’s administrator wrote on Facebook.
“We see it as an element of the US-led military preparations that have intensified against the background of the anti-Russian propagandist hysteria.”
The US force arrived in Norway in January and is based near the city of Trondheim, 900 miles from the Russian border.
Russia’s claims come amid rising tensions between Washington and Moscow after the US shot down a Syrian jet which it claims targeted American-allied rebels.
Russia warned it will treat US-led coalition planes in Syria west of the Euphrates as targets as the nation’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described the shooting as a “dangerous escalation”.
But the US Central Command said they had shot the plane out of the sky last Sunday in “self-defence” as it flew over the war-torn country.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Ryabkov said it was an “act of aggression and support of terrorists”.
He said: “What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law.
“If you want, it’s actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy.”
The US-led coalition issued a statement, which said: “The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.
“The Coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat ISIS in Syria poses globally. The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.
“The Coalition calls on all parties to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.”