Norway drops missile defense program

Just weeks before meeting Russian officials in the northern city of Kirkenes, to celebrate how the former Soviet Union liberated Finnmark from Nazi German occupation n 1944, Norwegian government officials have made a concession to their neighbours. They won’t be going along with the US- and NATO-backed missile defense program after all. Norway was under […]

Defense chief calls for major build-up

Norwegian defense chief Haakon Bruun-Hanssen is asking for, and may well receive, an extra NOK 25 billion (USD 3 billion) over the next eight years to build up the country’s defense. He and other military experts believe Russia would want to blockade Norway in the event of a conflict, meaning Norway must be able to […]

Norwegian vessel sails to North Pole

Norway’s polar exploration heroes Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen never managed to sail all the the way to the North Pole, but a vessel from the country’s coast guard finally did on Wednesday. The ship’s captain and an Arctic researcher planted flags on the North Pole at exactly 9:32am. “It all went much faster than […]

Russia won’t let Hurtigruten sail

Russian authorities have spoiled some exclusive Arctic cruise plans for passengers on board one of the Norwegian shipping line Hurtigruten‘s newest vessels, the MS Spitsbergen. After initially seeming to welcome more cruise traffic in Russian waters, the Russians have suddenly denied the vessel entry. “We’d had a good dialogue with Russian authorities for a long […]

Russian exercises illustrate tension

Norwegian and NATO forces claim to be keeping a close eye this week on Russian military forces, which launched some of their largest military exercises yet on Wednesday. The exercises, taking place in four locations off Norway’s northwest coast, are widely viewed as a direct response to all the recent NATO, Norwegian and US military exercises […]

Russia posts missiles near the border

Russian officials have disclosed that they’ve moved a coastal missile system to a new location on Russia’s Sredny Peninsula in the far north. The new location is so close to Norway that it can be seen on clear days from Vardø, the northeastern Norwegian town that’s also home to a controversial radar and surveillance system […]

Norway braced for Russian exercises

The Russian Navy is expected to launch “unusually high activity” off the coast of Northern Norway next week, after announcing more military training exercises in the Norwegian Sea. Three US surveillance aircraft have joined Norway in efforts to keep an eye on the Russians. “A large number of naval vessels are on their way from […]

Norway hesitates over Iran response

The Norwegian government is still mulling over a request from the US for a military “contribution” towards boosting security in the waters off Iran. It won’t be easy for Norway to say “no,” but skepticism is running high and resistance is likely in Parliament. Norway’s foreign and defense ministers recently confirmed the initial request from […]

Norway unlikely to meet NATO goals

It took a complaint from NATO’s Norwegian chief Jens Stoltenberg to spur Norway’s defense ministry into action this week. It finally announced a bigger contribution to NATO’s so-called “Readiness Initiative” force, but Norway is still unlikely to meet goals for overall defense spending. Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen was on the defense himself as he […]

Ministry confirms frigate scrapping

It’s official: Norway’s badly damaged frigate KNM Helge Ingstad won’t be repaired. The defense ministry has finally determined that it will be better to simply scrap the expensive vessel that collided with a tanker last autumn and then sank. Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen announced that the government now officially agrees that it’s “more appropriate” to […]