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Norwegian defence policy slammed as 'anti-Russian' in Moscow statement

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Norwegian defence policy slammed as 'anti-Russian' in Moscow statement
U.S. Admiral James G Foggo speaks at a ceremony to mark the end of 2018 Nato exercises in Norway. Photo: AFP
17:22 CEST+02:00
The Russian foreign ministry has criticized Nato member Norway's foreign policy as being hostile to Russia.

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will take up the issue with authorities in Oslo, NRK and Reuters report.

The Russian statement said Moscow was concerned by Norwegian military spending and development of military infrastructure in the Scandinavian country.

“Military infrastructure is being modernized, new weapons are being bought. The plans to develop the armed forces are clearly anti-Russian,” the ministry statement read.

“Such a situation can only alarm us,” it added.

The ministry stated that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov plans to raise the concerns at talks with his Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Søreide in Kirkenes, the northeastern Norway town close to the Russian and Finnish borders.

Norwegian territory is being more actively used by other Nato member states, the Russian ministry also wrote.

Strong criticism of a neighbouring country by Russia one the eve of high-level talks between the countries is unusual, according to NRK's report.

Russian authorities have also previously criticized regular stationing of US soldiers in Norway.

The meeting between the two countries was in part intended to mark the 75-year-anniversary of the World War II liberation of the Øst-Finnmark region by the Soviet Union.

That is now likely to be overshadowed by diplomatic tension.

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