It is likely that Norwegian troops will be stationed in Lithuania early in 2017 to join in NATO’s fortified line of defense against Russia.
According to VG, Prime Minister Erna Solberg is expected to announce the Norwegian contribution during the NATO Summit in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday.
– We will increase our military presence with four robust multinational battalions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference in Brussels on Monday afternoon.
The Norwegian soldiers will be probably sent to Lithuania, where Germany has taken the responsibility for a battalion of about 1,000 soldiers. Also Dutch soldiers will be part of the German-led force.
The other leading nations are the US, UK and Canada, announced Stoltenberg during the press conference. Moreover, Poland has offered NATO to coordinate the four battalions.
Defence Minister of Norway Ine Eriksen Søreide had announced in June that the government is considering a “substantial” contribution to NATO’S new battalions in Eastern Europe.
The battalions of 1,000 soldiers in each country symbolize that NATO is willing and able to defend the four countries bordering Russia against a possible attack.
These forces are also intended as a calming measures for people and governments in Poland and the Baltic countries.
– This is a clear message that our member countries will defend each other on both sides of the Atlantic, says Stoltenberg.