Russia warns of consequences following Norway’s call for more Marines

June 14, 2018

Russia issued threats following Norway’s decision to invite several hundred more Marines to the Arctic country for training.

The threat was made via a posting to the Russian Embassy’s Facebook page on Thursday.

“Such acts are contrary to the Norwegian decision of 1949 to “not open bases for foreign forces in Norwegian territory as long as Norway is not attacked or threatened with attacks,” the Russian statement reads. “They make Norway less predictable, can increase tension, and cause an arm’s race destabilizing the situation in northern Europe. We view it as unfriendly and it will not remain without consequences.”

Earlier this week, Norway invited the Corps to send up to 700 Marines for rotational training in Norway for a period of five years, more than double the size of the current rotation.

The high north country also opened up a second training location in Setermoen, Norway, for the Marines. Previously, Marines have been based out of Vaernes, Norway.

“More predictable rotational USMC training and exercises in Norway will significantly improve opportunities to develop and enhance interoperability between USMC and Norwegian forces,” Norwegian Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke-Jensen, said in a press release.

The threat from Russia also follows a series of NATO and U.S. exercises in the region. In early June, NATO kicked off Saber Strike 2018 in the Baltic states and a maritime exercises known as BALTOPS.

And in late May, the Corps sent M1A1 Abrams tanks to Finland for the first time to participate in a Finnish armored vehicle exercise.

Since 2017, the Corps has been sending six-month rotations of roughly 330 Marines to Norway for extreme cold weather training.

Currently, nearly 330 Marines with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, is in Norway conducting training. It is the Corps’ third rotation to the Scandinavian country.

On Tuesday, Gen. Robert B. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, told audience members at the Naval War College in Rhode Island that the Corps would be sending an additional 300 Marines currently in Romania to Norway.

“The United States Marine Corps and Norway have a long-standing and successful relationship that we look forward to strengthening,” Bakke-Jensen, said in a press release. “We will continue the dialogue with the U.S. and the USMC, aiming for mutual agreement in the near future on the continuation of the rotational training and exercise activity, says Frank Bakke-Jensen.”

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