Russia tells Norway to keep Aegis BMD system off vessels

General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces

From Gerard O’Dwyer, Defense News:  Russia has warned Norway not to get pulled into a possible area of conflict by bowing to U.S. pressure to equip its naval vessels with Aegis ballistic missile defense system missiles. The warning came from Nikolai Makarov, commander of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

Russia hopes to eliminate this threat through talks and greater transparency and military cooperation with Norway, said Makarov, adding that Russia will not accept U.S. vessels equipped with the Aegis system operating near its Arctic territories or in the Black Sea.

“We are aware that the U.S. has been prompting Norway to install the missile defense system on its naval ships. Fortunately, Norway has taken a balanced position,” Makarov said on Feb. 16.

Russia’s position is that it will take any necessary countermeasures against the U.S. should it decide to deploy vessels equipped with the Aegis system to areas in or near the High North or to the Black Sea. But although countermeasures are ready, Russia is reluctant to introduce them at this time given the “additional financial spending” involved, Makarov said. . . .

As the defense budgets of most European nations contracted, Norway watched as Russia increased its spending on defense by 10 percent year-on-year in the period from 2008 to 2010.  (photo: Alexandr Utkin/RIA Novosti)

Image: ria%201%2029%2012%20Nikolai%20Makarov.jpg