Norway suspends military cooperation with Russia until end of 2015

There will be no joint naval exercise POMOR in 2015, as Norway puts military cooperation with Russia on ice. Photo from POMOR 2012. (Trude Pettersen/Barents Observer)
There will be no joint naval exercise POMOR in 2015, as Norway puts military cooperation with Russia on ice. Photo from POMOR 2012. (Trude Pettersen/Barents Observer)
The Government has decided to continue the suspension of all bilateral military activities until the end of 2015.

Military bilateral cooperation between Norway and Russia has been suspended since March 2014, following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and use of armed force in Ukraine. The suspension was expanded in May to last until the end of 2014.

Now the Government has considered the issue again and decided to continue the suspension of all bilateral military activities until the end of 2015, the Government’s web site reads.

“The situation in Eastern Ukraine is serious, and Russia has indisputably a destabilizing role. Russia supports separatists in eastern Ukraine military and military forces along the border. This is not acceptable,” says Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Bilateral events cancelled

None of Norway’s close allies have resumed military cooperation with Russia. NATO adopted at the summit in September to continue the suspension of the practical and military cooperation between the alliance and Russia, while the political communication channels are kept open.

A total of 15 planned bilateral events have been cancelled or postponed in 2014, among them a visit from the Head Commander of the Russian Armed Forces. The Joint exercise Northern Eagle 2014 was cancelled, the same were Russian participation in the Norwegian Military Tattoo 2014 and the Russian Navy Commander’s visit to Bergen.

Maintaining some cooperation

Collaboration will continue in Coast Guard, Border Guard and search-and-rescue activities as well as the workings of the Incidents at Sea Agreement. Contact between the Norwegian Joint Headquarters and the Northern Fleet will continue as well. This is to ensure the safety of all parties in northern marine areas and to maintain stability and predictability in our immediate region, the Ministry of Defense reports.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Will Russia’s actions in Ukraine affect relations in the Arctic Council?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Duma foreign affairs committee chief: Finland willing to end sanctions, Yle News

Norway:  New Norwegian spy vessel to keep track with «unpredictable» Russia, Barents Observer

Russia:  More marines for Russia’s Northern Fleet, Blog by Mia Bennett

Sweden: Russia playing “psychological warfare” with Sweden says researcher, Radio Sweden

United States:  Pentagon: Climate change is national security risk, Barents Observer

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