Why the U.S. is turning to Norway when it wants to understand Putin
BODO, Norway — Sitting between Russian's aggressive behavior and NATO's attempt to rein it in is Norway, a key U.S. ally that often serves as a bridge between the two groups.
Because of the close relationship that has developed, Norway can provide a window into Russia's motivations and world view that is "worth gold" to the U.S. as it tries to understand the nuances of Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions, according to a senior U.S. defense official.
"They are a bridge in a lot of ways and they help explain their view," the official said.
Norway shares a land and sea border with Russia, which has forced the two countries over hundreds of years to form a working partnership, including some exercises together before Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Following Russia's land grab in Ukraine, Norway cut off most military cooperation, but still maintains a relationship in areas such as border security and search and rescue at sea.
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WNU Editor: Norway - Russia relations have always been surprisingly good. A friend of mine was posted at the Russian embassy at Oslo about two decades ago .... he found it to be the most enjoyable posting of his career .... and today .... he now lives there as a Norwegian citizen.