The Russian Embassy in Oslo, Norway has issued a statement over the weekend condemning the continued presence of US Marines on Norwegian soil, saying that the deployment contradicts Norway’s long-standing policy of not hosting foreign troops during peacetime.
The statement warned that this move threatened to lead to “destabilization of the situation” along the Russia-Norway border, and that it raised concern among Russian officials about whether Norway is a predictable partner.
The Marines arrived at Porsangmoen in January, officially to learn how to cross-country ski for “future offensive operations in a cold-weather environment.” This was supposed to be a 6-month deployment, but this past week it was extended through at least the end of 2018.
That’s a lot of skiing, and the US doesn’t exactly have a lot of enemies with alpine environments to launch offensives against, which is fueling the conviction among Russian officials that the deployment is entirely about them, putting US troops near their border with an explicitly offensive posture.
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