Norwegian government expressed concern about the Russian strategic exercises Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) which should start in late August in the Arctic. “Tsentr-2019 exercises are an alarming sign of the increasingly aggressive behavior of the Northern neighbor (Russia),” stated the Norwegian Defense Ministry on August 6 as cited by DW. Norwegian authorities indicate that the exercise will be held near the coast of the Nordland and Tromsø municipalities.
“The expected Russian drills show that Russia is increasing its military activity and conducting exercises more and more often and closer to the borders of Western countries. Russia is acting more and more aggressively in our immediate vicinity. Norway is concerned about this and will closely monitor the exercises," the Ministry added.
Tsentr-2019 exercises are scheduled for August-September. Drills will take place along the Northern Sea Route in the Russian Arctic waters, and during the maneuvers, military equipment specially designed for military operations in the Arctic will be tested.
Russia's relations with the Nordic countries have been strained since March when Norway and Finland accused Russia of disrupting the GPS signal during NATO's large-scale exercises. They said that jamming the signal could be dangerous for the civilian and military aircraft in the region.
Russia was also blamed for blocking the signal during the Trident Juncture Exercise, which was held in Norway in October and November 2018.