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Norway decides against participation in Nato missile defence system

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Norway decides against participation in Nato missile defence system
Nato naval and marine staff during an exercise in Norway in 2018. Photo: AFP
10:40 CEST+02:00
Norway will not be part of Nato’s joint ballistic missile defence system, the Scandinavian country has confirmed as part of its budget announcement.

The Ministry of Defence stated the decision in its part of the budget, news agency NTB reports.

“As the result of a broad review of political and security factors, the government has decided that Norway will not consider acquiring sensors or defence missiles which can participate in Nato’s missile defence system,” the budget states.

The defence programme is a missile defence system being constructed in several Nato member states.

Founding member Norway has been a long-standing supporter of Nato’s policy of developing a joint missile defence system, but opposes merging the system with the wider-ranging US missile defence system.

One aspect of that is a reluctance in the Scandinavian country to antagonize Russia, with which it shares a border.

“I think (the government’s decision) will prevent increased tension (with Russia),” Julie Wilhelmsen, a senior researcher in defence and foreign policy at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, told NTB.

Nato has denied that its missile defence system is designed or directed against Russia.

READ ALSO: OPINION: Why good relations between Norway and Russia are necessary – and achievable

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