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Norway PM snubs Russia on WW2 bomber

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Norway PM snubs Russia on WW2 bomber
An American Douglas A-20C BO, similar to the Soviet plane which Russia has requested help recovering. Photo: United States Office of War Information photograph collection
08:31 CET+01:00
Norway's Prime Minister has flatly refused a Russian request for help recover the wreck of a World War II fighter plane sunk beneath the sea near Norway's Russian border, pointing out that Russia "hadn't chosen the best time" to ask.
“When you get a request to install the Russian Navy on Norway’s sea shores, it’s not something you say yes to,” she told Norway's NTB newswire after the subject came up at parliamentary questions on Wednesday. 
 
Norway put all military cooperation with Russia on ice in March following Russian aggression in Ukraine, in December deciding to extend the freeze until the end of 2015.
 
Norway’s armed forces have been unsettled by Russian aggression in Ukraine, fearing that Russia’s demonstrated willingness to annex territories near its western borders represents a long term risk for the country. 
 
The Soviet Douglas A-20C torpedo bomber was shot down in September 1944 off the coast of Berlevåg on Norway's border with Russia. The plane had been hunting for German convoys supplying the then occupied coast of northern Norway. 
 
The wreck is symbolic for Russia partly because it pilot, Evgeny Frantsjev, was awarded the "Hero of the Soviet Union” medal the month before the crash. 
 
Local politicians and historians in Finnmark have expressed disappointment at the government's unwillingness to help Russia find and retrieve the plane, arguing it would help maintain good relations across the border in difficult times. 
 
Norway has continued cooperating with Russia in the north over areas such as fisheries, despite Norway enacting EU-led sanctions against the country. 
 
During the parliamentary questions, Solberg ruled out sending weapons to Ukraine to help the country fight Russian-backed separatists in its eastern provinces. 
 
“Norway has very clear rules relating to weapons. It is not appropriate for us to send anything to a country in conflict and war,” she said. “We are also concerned that this will not be resolved with weapons.This must be resolved by political means.” 
 
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