Norway is increasing the readiness of its defense forces and boosting maritime surveillance as it works to secure vital energy links to Europe.
The Nordic country has raised preparedness levels a number of times since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and further added security around its North Sea oil and gas infrastructure after the suspected sabotage at the Nord Stream pipeline system in the Baltic Sea last month. Curbs on Russian fossil fuel exports have made Norway the biggest supplier of natural gas to Europe.
The move announced on Monday means that the armed forces will adjust operations and activities, including reducing some traditional training and exercises, while increasing other operations, such as maritime surveillance, Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram told reporters.
The country also detected an “abnormally high” level of drone activity near its installations on the Norwegian continental shelf in the aftermath of the Nord Stream detonations, and has since received assistance with maritime patrols from the UK, Germany and France.
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
“The increased tension means that we are more exposed to threats, intelligence and influence,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said on Monday.
“That makes it necessary for all NATO countries to be more vigilant, including Norway,” he said, adding that there are “no indications that Russia will expand its warfare to other countries.” [Bloomberg]