HELSINKI — The Norwegian government is unlikely to review or revoke its new 12-month ban on bilateral military cooperation with Russia unless it sees a significant change in the Kremlin's aggressive, tension-building behavior and actions in Ukraine, the Norwegian government has said.
Norway's renewed cessation means that all scheduled or new military cooperation with Russia is officially suspended until the end of 2015. The decision to prolong the freeze for a further 12 months has been influenced by growing concerns among Nordic and Baltic states over increased military activity by Russia's air, land and naval forces close to their borders.
"The situation in east Ukraine is serious, and Russia is unquestionably playing a destabilizing role. Russia is supporting the separatists in east Ukraine and has deployed military forces along the border. That is not acceptable," said Norway's Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Moreover, there will also be limited contacts between Norway's Joint Headquarters and Russia's Northern Fleet on the nearby Kola Peninsula. According to the Norwegian government, this level of continuity is needed to ensure the "safety of all parties in northern marine areas, and to maintain stability and predictability in our immediate region."