Norway Concerned about Russia’s Military Modernization and Increased Military Activity in the Arctic

Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide in Washington“I don’t think that the alliance will be irrelevant any time soon,” Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen] Soreide told Reuters. “It could be a feature that haunts us over time if we’re not willing to do something about the burden-sharing issue. The risk is that the U.S. will continue to invest in security outside the alliance and that would be harmful … over time.”

Soreide also criticized NATO’s “smart defense” plan and said it was a slogan aimed at dressing up military spending reductions. “If you do that in an uncoordinated manner, the risk is that you end up losing vital capabilities that are crucial to the alliance and to alliance security,” she said.

Soreide expressed particular concern about gaps in intelligence capabilities such as maritime patrol aircraft, as well as the lack of a coherent missile defense plan, she said.

She also voiced concerns about Russia’s military modernization and its increased military activity in the Arctic, as well as human rights abuses inside the country.

Changing climate conditions in the Arctic could also give rise to other threats, such as disputes over oil and other natural resources, as well as acts of terrorism, she said.

Image: Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide in Washington (photo: Ministry of Defense of Norway)