Norway, which borders Russia to the north, said on Friday it had signed a revised agreement with the United States to regulate American defense activities on its territory.
The agreement between the two NATO allies will allow the United States to build military facilities at three Norwegian airfields and one naval base. Still, the United States will not be able to create separate bases of its own on the territory of the country, the government said.
The treaty, signed by the Government of Erna Solberg, must be ratified by the Norwegian Parliament before it enters into force.
“The agreement regulates and facilitates the presence, training, and maneuvers (of the military) The United States in Norway, thereby contributing to the rapid strengthening of American military power in Norway in the event of a crisis or war,” the government said.
Relations between Norway and Russia, which share an Arctic border, gradually improved in the post-Cold War period, but warming stopped after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.
The two countries have been strained by military buildup on both sides of the border and more frequent military maneuvers, but the two countries also cooperate on cross-border tourism, trade, and fishing.
Norway, which became a founding member of NATO in 1949, has always said that it will not allow foreign bases to be established in peacetime or nuclear weapons to be deployed. However, Western troops can conduct exercises on its territory.
“Our cooperation with our allies is constantly developing. The agreement confirms Norway’s close relations with the United States and confirms Norway’s key position on the northern flank of NATO,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said.” Our policy regarding the deployment of foreign troops on Norwegian territory, the accumulation or deployment of nuclear weapons and port visits remains unchanged,” she said.