Anniken Huitfeldt
© AP
Norway's Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt announced that it is in the country's best interests to protect its northernmost areas with its own armed troops.
Norway's Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt announced that it is in the country's best interests to protect its northernmost areas with its own armed troops rather than with NATO, as per the reports of Sputnik. Norway's Labour Party, which took power earlier this year after nearly a decade of Conservative control, wants ally countries' planes and vessels to remain at a distance from border areas near Russia.

Huitfeldt said that it's critical for Norway to have a military presence near the neighbourhood. However, she believes that they can do it best themselves, with Norwegian planes and frigates, and doesn't need NATO troops. When asked by Verdens Gang if the government wants to keep US and UK ships and planes farther away from Russia, Huitfeldt replied that she wants to talk to both countries about it so that Norway's interests are protected.

Norway's best interests to take care of the territories on its own

She stated that it is in Norway's best interests to take care of the territories on its own, with Norwegian defence. She also said that they attempting to convey to their allies that Norway is NATO's northernmost member and in the Barents Sea, the Russians are accustomed to seeing Norwegian planes and ships, according to Verdens Gang. She also said that they want it to be like this in the future too, that the planes flying east of Andøya, Nordland County are not American P8 surveillance aircraft, but their own.

Tormod Heier, a defence researcher and lieutenant colonel, has written a new book about these sailings in the Barents Sea, according to Sputnik. In his book titled "A marginal state going astray," he asserts, among other things, that as Norway has become increasingly dependent on the US and that Norwegian freedom of action in relation to Russia has been eroded.

Desire to enhance relations with Russia in the north

According to Sputnik, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre's government has already stated its desire to enhance relations with Russia in the north. Over the last decade, reciprocal military build-ups, military jet interceptions, spying accusations and harsher tone by politicians have harmed the Norwegian-Russian partnership, which dates back hundreds of years and has been marked by neighbourly cooperation and peaceful trade.