Norway has suggested that the United States more than double the number of U.S. marines deployed in the country. The government in Oslo is increasingly concerned about the threat posed by Russia after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Radio Liberty reports.
Approximately 330 U.S. marines were scheduled to leave Norway at the end of this year after an initial contingent arrived in January 2017 to prepare for fighting in winter conditions. However, the decision to withdraw the troops has been canceled.
Foreign Minister of Norway Ine Eriksen Soreide told reporters that this decision does not mean that a permanent U.S. base in Norway will be established, and it is not directed against Russia.
“Oslo is asking Washington to send 700 marines in 2019. (The current number is 330.) Additional units will be located closer to the Russian border in the Inner Tromso region in the Norwegian Arctic, rather than in central Norway. The rotation of forces will continue for five years,” the report said.
In addition, the U.S. wants to build an infrastructure that will accommodate up to four U.S. fighters at a base 65 km south of Oslo in accordance with the European deterrence initiative launched after the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.
It was reported that in the fall of 2018, NATO will conduct the largest exercises in Norway since the Cold War.