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Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets

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Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets
A Norwegian owned F-16. Photo: Lars Magne Hovtun / Forsvaret / Scanpix
09:53 CEST+02:00
Increased Russian military activity is one of several reasons to why Norway did not send its fighter jet planes to Iraq and the war against Isis, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday.

The Norwegian PM said to newspaper VG: “First of all, the US has not asked us to send fighter jets to Iraq. Second, we have some technical challenges that make it right to maintain our capacity here in Norway. The third reason is a somewhat more tense situation in our immediate surroundings.”

She pointed out that the submarine hunt in Sweden is not the cause of the tension.
 
“I'm thinking of the general situation of increased Russian activity both airborne and at sea, and the displacement of troops and other issues that makes it necessary to pay attention here at home,” said Solberg.
 
She believes that Norway's allies in Nato have a good understanding why Norway has to use more resources in the northern areas and at the border with Russia.
 
Solberg commented:” With a common border towards Russia, Norway is in a different situation from countries like Denmark, Holland and Belgium.”
 
Chairman of the Labour Party, Jonas Gahr Støre, agreed with the Prime Minister.
 
“It is important to assert that Norway is in another situation concerning security politics than many of our allies in Northern Europe. We not only have a long coast to patrol, but also accepted the responsibility of securing large areas of sea that have strategic significance to all of Nato.”
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