Monday, November 26, 2007

Russia escalates probes; Norwegians unconcerned

Russian's military has expanded their probe of Europe's defenses with submarine patrols off the Norwegian coast, but Norwegian defense officials say it's nothing to worry about. And it's all America's fault, anyway.
The Russians have been sending fighter jets near Norwegian air space for months. Now some of their submarines have been tracked near territorial waters.

Norwegian officials have attributed the flights to an apparent need by the Russians to show renewed strength. They're not particularly alarmed over the emergence of the submarines as well.

"They showing off both a will and an ability to be a super power to be reckoned with," State Secretary Espen Barth Eide in the Defense Ministry told newspaper Aftenposten. "The u-boats are a Russian comment to the day's international themes."

Among those "themes" are the US' controversial plans to place a rocket shield system on the European continent. The Russians vigorously oppose the plans, and Barth Eide believes the dispatch of fighter jets and submarines is part of the official response.

[ ... ]

"I don't view the heightened Russian activity as alarming," he said.
I guess it's not particularly "alarming" until the sea- and air-launched cruise missiles start to fly.

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