© EPA/MAURIZIO GAMBARINI
OSLO, 29 April. /Offset. TASS Yuri Mikhailenko/. The deployment of elements of the European NATO missile defense system (EUROPRO) in Norway will have consequences not only for the Kingdom but for the whole of the Alliance. About it in interview to the newspaper Dagbladet said the Ambassador of Russia in Norway Teimuraz Ramishvili.
“From our side, followed by the answer, and not only the response of Norway but the whole of NATO,” – said the Russian diplomat in response to a reporter’s question about what would be Russia’s reaction to the possible accession of the Scandinavian countries to the deployment of European missile defense.
“Russia and Norway can be different points of view on the issue of missile shield NATO, and this is perfectly normal. However, good neighbors should engage in dialogue and find solutions that suit both sides. Russia is not seeking to militarize the Arctic,” said Ramishvili, previously emphasized that the leadership of the Scandinavian Kingdom refuses to discuss with Russia the Moscow disturbing question about the future role of Norway in the European missile defense system.
According to the Ambassador, Norwegian authorities need to think about the consequences of new policies before a decision on the Norwegian contribution to European missile defense will be made.
The lack of dialogue
The Russian Ambassador stressed that a major problem in the relations between the two countries remains the lack of dialogue, including between military.
“Today Russia is in regular contact with the political leadership and military leaders of the United States, but not with the leadership of the Norwegian armed forces. It’s very sad,” said the Ambassador, adding that Russia has repeatedly taken the initiative to resume the dialogue in this and other formats.
“Our countries can be proud of the history of their cooperation, especially in the North. We had a very close relationship until 2013, and we always managed to solve arising problems. Look what is happening now. From 2014 to 2016 the Norwegian-Russian trade turnover fell by 70%, and it should not be”, – said the Ambassador.
The Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg in 2015 confirmed readiness of the country, a NATO member since the founding of the Alliance, to contribute to the creation of a European missile defense system. Recommendations the Norwegian Institute for defence studies and the missile defense Agency of the United States on this issue should be presented to the Norwegian government by the end of 2017. In service with the navies of Norway at the moment, there are five modern frigates of the Fridtjof Nansen, features information and control system Aegis which can be upgraded for participation in the European missile defense system. Radar Globus II, located on the Norwegian Arctic island of vardø at the borders of the Russian Federation, and the new radar, which the United States plans to deploy the same in 2020, also has the potential to participate in the European missile defense system, although the Ministry of defence of Norway has consistently stated that the radar station in the North of the country “have not been and will not be used as early warning systems on launches of ballistic missiles or missile defense radars”.