Russian defence minister to hold talks with Norwegian military leaders

In his talks with the Norwegian military leaders Russian defence minister Sergei Ivanov does not intend to avoid the problematic aspects of bilateral relations.

In particular, Russia "is worried about activities" of the "Marjata", belonging to the Norwegian Navy, in the area of the works on the submerged nuclear submarine Kursk, Ivanov told Russian journalists.

Although the Norwegian ships "did not enter the 12-mile zone, they were constantly somewhere on the brink", and their radars interfered with the communication with those working on the Kursk, the minister said. The interference from the Norwegian aviation was as high, he pointed out. "We understand the necessity of marine intelligence, but everything should be within certain limits," he added.

Ivanov intends to raise these questions during his talks with the Norwegian top brass, he said.

Norway in its turn may touch upon the deployment of Russian men-of-war, such as the Severomorsk, in Spitsbergen, the minister said. Yet this is a fully normal event, as Russia does not recognize the 200-mile zone around the island, he pointed out.

Apart from the relations between the two military departments, the talks will concern Russian-NATO relations and the fight against international terrorism, as Norway is both a NATO member and a participant in the counter-terrorist operation in Afghanistan, the Russian minister explained.

If the possibility for anti-Taliban coalition military planes to fly over Russia is at issue, the Russian stand will remain the same, it will only allow cargo flights carrying humanitarian aid or rendering assistance in emergencies, he added.

Ivanov also stressed the importance of carrying out environmental programs with Norway's participation, including those on submarine utilization and chemical weapons elimination.

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Author`s name Editorial Team