22 October 2019

Norway says no to NATO's missile defence shield

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While boosting its defence expenditure to come closer to NATO's spending target, Oslo decided against joining its missile defence network for the time being. reports citing Sputnik, the Norwegian government has decided against joining NATO's missile shield. The debate about Norway's possible participation has long spurred fears of tensions between Norway and Russia.

“Through a broader security policy assessment, the government has decided that Norway does not consider acquiring upper-tier sensors or intercept missiles that can become part of NATO's ballistic missile defence,” the state budget said.

“I think this prevents further tensions,” Russina expert from the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Affairs (NUPI) Julie Wilhelmsen said as quoted by Norway's TV2.

A secret Norwegian defence document from 2017 cited the alleged “threat” from Russia as the reason why Norway should join the “missile shield”. The document also listed sizable gaps and deficiencies in Norway's air defence, which reportedly make it difficult for Norway to defend itself on its own.

At the same time, Norway's new budget increased defence spending to 1.8 percent of the GDP, further shrinking the distance to NATO's spending goal of 2 percent owing to an increase of NOK 5.2 billion ($570 million).

2019.10.08 / 10:52
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