OSLO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The Norwegian government said on Monday it would raise its military alert level, shift more personnel to operational duties and strengthen the role of rapid mobilization forces in response to the war in Ukraine. did. .
Norway is also about to put its new fleet of US-made P-8 Poseidon submarine search and patrol aircraft into routine operations at a faster pace than originally planned, said Defense Secretary Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen.
“The government has decided that the military will raise its alert level and move to a new phase from 1 November,” the government said in a statement.
However, the alert levels operated by the military are classified, and the government has refused to disclose details of the levels.
As a NATO member, Norway shares nearly 200 kilometers (125 miles) of land border with Russia in the Arctic, as well as extensive maritime borders.
The Nordic country of 5.4 million people is now also the largest exporter of natural gas to the European Union, accounting for about a quarter of all EU imports after falling inflows from Russia.
“This is the most serious security situation in decades,” Prime Minister Jonas Gar Stoor of the centre-left Labor Party said at a news conference.
“There is no indication that Russia is extending the war to other countries, but rising tensions expose us to threats, espionage and influence campaigns.”
Defense Minister Björn Arrild Graham said the army would spend less time training and more time on operational duties, with the Home Guard, a rapid mobilization force, playing a more active role. rice field.
The Air Force wanted to stop training the F-35 fighter jets in the United States and keep them in Norway, Armed Forces Chief Christophersen said.
“We expect this situation to continue for at least a year,” Christophersen said.
Norway has deployed troops to protect offshore platforms and onshore facilities after a leak in the Nord Stream pipeline on September 26, with support from British, French and German navies.
The country’s security police arrested a suspected Russian spy last week and are also involved in protecting gas exports that will be vital to Europe’s energy supply this winter.
Reported by Gwladys Fouche. Written by Terje Solsvik.Edited by Nora Bri, Philippa Fletcher, John Stonestreet, Allison Williams
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