Russian military checking military activity in Norway

Russian military inspectors will begin a visit to a designated district in Norway to check military activity in the area, a military official has said.

“Within the framework of the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence and Security-Building Measures, , which allows signatories to conduct up to three inspections in Norway per year.

Russian group of inspectors will assess a designated district in Norway from March 13 to 17,” Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, was quoted by Media as saying on Monday.

According to Ryzhkov, apart from verifying military activity in the Norwegian district, the inspectors will also visit training grounds and attend briefings at the military bases of the Norwegian armed forces.

The Russians were on site also during the previous Cold Response drill in 2014. In April 2015 a group of Russian inspectors visited Brigade Nord in Troms county for an evaluation of local military units.

The inspections take place on the backdrop of the serious chill in east-west relations. In line with NATO policy, military bilateral cooperation between Norway and Russia has been suspended since March 2014, following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and use of armed forces in Ukraine. In December 2014 the suspension was extended until the end of 2017.

(N.Sethu)