23.08.2008 This week the Russian Ministry of Defence has informed the Norwegian Ministry of Defence that all planned military cooperation between Norway and Russia will be halted. The Norwegian Government hopes that all non-military cooperations will continue as planned.
In a letter to the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, Russia informs that as of this date all military cooperation with all member countries in NATO is suspended. State Secretary Espen Barht Eide in the Ministry of Defence, says to newspaper Aftenposten that the Norwegian-Russian relations is worsen even more by this letter.
The Ministry of Defence is now checking which consequences this will have for Norway. There are already planned a lot of visits and joint military exercises between Norway and Russia, which will be affected.
Norwegian Coast Guard has planned a rescue operation exercise together with Russians in Kirkenes on the 9th and 10th of September. Since this is not a military exercise, the ministry believes it will be carried through as planned. There is also planned an oil spill preparation exercise with Norwegian and Russian participant some weeks later, which could be affected.
In the Norwegian Parliament there is an all-party agreement that the Government should always welcome Russian authorities to discussions on the current situation, if they are ready for this.