US Marines Land in Norway, and Russia Isn't Pleased

'The relationship between Norway and Russia is put to a test now,' says Russian rep
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2017 11:43 AM CST
US Marines disembark from a Boeing 747 after it landed in Stordal, Norway on Monday.   (Ned Alley/NTB scanpix via AP)

(Newser) – Poland isn't the only country in Europe welcoming US troops. About 300 Marines arrived in Norway on Monday, marking the first time since World War II that foreign troops have been stationed in the country, reports Reuters. The mission is to last one year, with the first batch of Marines replaced by another in six months. The New York Times sees it as the latest move by the US and its allies in Europe to try to keep Russia in check, and indeed Moscow isn't happy with the deployment. "The relationship between Norway and Russia is put to a test now," says the foreign ministry. However, a Norwegian official insists it's merely a routine training mission.

"For the first four weeks they will have basic winter training, learn how to cope with skis and to survive in the Arctic environment," says the Home Guard spokesman. "It has nothing to do with Russia or the current situation." The Marines will be in Vaernes, which is about 900 miles from the Russian border. In a separate development, Norway has also sent 200 of its own troops to the border area to monitor Russian activity, reports the Independent. The US, UK, and Norway also appear to be rekindling a Cold War alliance used for maritime surveillance, reports Defense News. All this comes amid the backdrop of President-elect Trump worrying US allies by calling NATO "obsolete" in an interview this week, notes CNN. (Read more Norway stories.)

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