Nato-Russia Council

Russia and Norway military cooperation

NATO-Russia Council Briefing POMOR 2013 03On the bridge of a Norwegian ship during the Norway-Russia joint exercise POMOR 2013

NATO-Russia Council defence experts were given a briefing on Russia and Norway’s military cooperation, at the Defence Transparency, Strategy and Reform Working Group meeting on 13 June. The presentation gave other NRC nations the opportunity to learn more about bilateral relations between Russia and Norway, and to consider how the NRC could build on the Norwegian-Russian experiences in military-to-military cooperation, to develop activities involving training and interoperability further in the NRC.

NATO-Russia Council Briefing POMOR 2013 02POMOR is an annual joint exercise involving the Norwegian and Russian navies.

Russia-Norway military cooperation

Regular joint exercises between Norway and Russia are a key part of military cooperation, focusing on the specific needs of Russia and Norway’s common geographic region. The largest Russian-Norwegian exercise, Pomor, has taken place annually since 1994, and is designed to exercise interoperability between Russian and Norwegian naval and air forces. These exercises cover areas including counter terrorism and counter piracy, as well as search and rescue operations and joint responses to environmental disasters. Pomor 2013 took place in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea on 10-16 May 2013.

The Barents Exercise is another important annual bilateral event primarily focused on Search and Rescue at Sea. The 2013 exercise took place on 5-6 June and covered scenarios ranging from search and rescue operations to handling the consequences of oil spills.

Cooperation between Norway and Russia takes place at several levels. Regular meetings range from contacts between military leaders, including the February 2013 visit by Norway’s Chief of Defence to Russia; to operational meetings between Norway’s Joint Command HQ and Russia’s Western Federal Military District; to meetings between coast guards and border guards.

NATO-Russia Council representatives were also informed about the legal basis for Russia-Norway activities, including annually agreed activity plans between the respective Ministries of Defence, which began in 1995, a Declaration on the basis for cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Norway from 1996, and the agreement on the prevention of incidents at sea outside territorial waters, first signed in 1990.

NATO-Russia Council Briefing POMOR 2013 04Russian and Norwegian medics working together during POMOR 2013 Exercise