Norway will put its military on a raised level of alert from moving more personnel on to operational duties and enhancing the role of a rapid mobilisation force in response to the war in Ukraine, its government said
It will also seek to bring its new fleet of US-made P-8 Poseidon submarine-hunting maritime patrol aircraft into regular operation at a faster pace than originally planned, defence chief Gen Eirik Kristoffersen said.
The scale of alert on which the military operates is classified, however, and the government declined to give details of the level.
There were no concrete threats against Norway now triggering the decision, Gen Kristoffersen told Reuters, but rather the sum of “the uncertainties” was leading authorities to raise the country’s military preparedness.
“We have seen an escalation [in the war] in Ukraine, we [Norway] are training Ukrainian forces, the Ukraine war has changed with the Russian mobilisation,” he said an interview.
“And at the same time, we have had a gas explosion in the Baltic Sea and drone activity at North Sea platforms.”
The raised level is expected to last a year, “possibly more”, Gen Kristoffersen said.
Russian conscription complete
The Russian mobilisation to which he alluded was completed on Monday, Russia’s defence ministry said.
“All activities related to the conscription … of citizens in the reserve have been stopped,” the ministry said, and no further call-up notices would be issued.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country’s first mobilisation since the Second World War in September, one of a series of escalatory measures in response to Ukrainian gains on the battlefield.
Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said at the time that about 300,000 additional personnel would be drafted, and that they would be specialists with combat experience.
But the mobilisation has proceeded chaotically, with many highly publicised cases of call-up notices going to the wrong men. Hundreds of thousands have fled Russia to avoid being drafted.
Mr Putin has publicly acknowledged mistakes were made, and he has set up a new co-ordination council to boost the military effort and ensure that men being sent to the front are properly armed and equipped.
The announcement on Monday — day 250 of the war — did not give a final figure for the number of men called up.