Great Britain | Establishing a military base in northern Norway
Defence Redefined
Published on 13/03/2023 at 10:15

Britain’s military has announced it will establish a military base in Norway’s Great North to bolster NATO’s Arctic capabilities amid concerns over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As Norway, which borders Russia, refuses to accept permanent bases of foreign soldiers, that of Camp Viking is to be opened for ten years north of Tromsø and will host commandos who will be trained to fight in adverse weather conditions.

The location of the camp is ideal for deterring threats in the region and allows Britain to react quickly if needed to protect the northern flank of NATO and its close ally Norway, the British Ministry of Defence explained in a statement.

The base, located near Norwegian military facilities, will maintain the presence of British commandos in the area, where around 1,000 took part in military exercises this winter.

Its construction was justified by the emergence of the Great North as an important theater of operations, justifying new facilities for the modern era.

For its part, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence clarified that the facility was an old training center that had first been used by allied countries and then by Dutch marines, while the camp is Norwegian and funded by Norway, he said.

Also read: Greece – United Kingdom | Relations strengthening

Despite being a founding member of NATO, Norway has since 1949 refused to accept permanent bases of foreign soldiers in peacetime so as not to provoke neighboring Russia, but regularly hosts allied troops to allow them to train for battle in the cold.

The British base is neither new, nor in any way a violation of Norwegian base policy, the Ministry stressed, also stating that the base was undertaken by foreign troops for nearly six months of the year.

The kingdom of Norway, which shares a 120-mile (198 km) border with Russia in the Great North, has supplied Ukraine with military equipment, including artillery systems and ammunition, to help the country defend itself against a Russian invasion.

As for its neighbors, the conflict prompted Finland and Sweden to file a request to join NATO in May 2022, turning the page on their policy of military neutrality, which had been in place since the 1990s and was inherited from decades of neutrality, whether mandatory or optional.

Also read: Great Britain | Weapons and military trainers deployed to Ukraine




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