OSLO – Norwegian website AldriMer published on September 27 news that Russian special forces fighters were found in mainland Norway, as well as in the Svalbard archipelago.
Norwegian and NATO intelligence sources were cited by the site, which said Russian military personnel conducted field reconnaissance in the above-mentioned areas and reviewed critical facilities.
However, the Russian embassy in Oslo stated that the news about “Russian special forces in Norway” is not true.
“We can only characterize it as rude provocation. We consider the publication part of the systematic work done in Norway by certain circles to plant the enemy image of Russia,” the Russian embassy said.
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Russian diplomats have stressed that this is a Norwegian “clumsy attempt” to justify their increase in defense spending. Such methods “do not correspond to journalistic ethics,” the embassy concluded.
The Svalbard archipelago is located in the Arctic Ocean between the 76th and 80th parallels and has a special international legal status.
The 1920 Treaty established Norway’s sovereignty in this territory, and Treaty member countries (including Russia) have the right to exploit natural resources and territorial waters. Currently, Russia remains the only country present on the islands besides Norway.
Meanwhile, the press office of the Northern Russian Fleet reported earlier this month the installation of S-400 air defense systems in Novaya Zemlya, the Russian archipelago in the Arctic.
Russia has been intensifying military, commercial and exploration activities in the Arctic through the construction of transportation and energy facilities and the development of the North Sea Route as part of the Northeast Passage, which connects Europe with Asia.
“The Russian Northern Fleet anti-aircraft regiment installed on Yuzhny Island in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago has been completely retrofitted with new S-400 systems,” the statement said.
It is worth mentioning that military personnel were trained to handle new systems and already have handling practice with S-300.
“The newer air defense systems expand the air zone controlled by our military,” said the press officer of the Russian fleet.