Russia Worries about Norwegian Radar

Russia is worried by the fact that Norway has a radar station, Globus 2, capable of controlling a territory of 35,000 kilometres, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov said during Russia's National Interests in Northern Europe hearings in the Federation Council, or the upper house of the Russian parliament.

The radar station is meant to help NATO /specifically the U.S./ control the Russian territory, but "Norway keeps insisting that the purpose of the station is space control," said Chizhov.

Likewise, according to him, the Russian side cannot but feel worried by the prospect of the United States deploying a national missile system - all the more so since some Northern European countries are meant to participate in it.

Evaluating Russia's relationships with Northern Europe, Chizhov described them as "corresponding with the requirements of the good-neighbourly relations belt." At the same time, according to his account, Finland is trying to "expand its influence in the boundaries of Northern Europe and step aside from the neutrality policy," which has been causing some problems. "Sweden might soon assume the same position," he remarked. He added that Russia was also worried about Norway's refusal to limit participation in naval manoeuvres.

At the same time, Russia and Finland are negotiating resumption of military-and-technical co-operation. There was a time when the USSR handled 30% of the import of weapons to Finland, but Finland has lately "switched over to NATO standards," remarked Chizhov. However, the sides have already signed an agreement on conversion of a part of Russia's debt to Finland, which totals 550 million euros, namely that Russia will repay 10 million euros of the debt by supplying Finland with "special munition," i.e. combat hardware.

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