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World

Norway cancels military manoeuvres to prevent spread of COVID-19

  • As the northernmost European member of the NATO alliance, and sharing a border with Russia.
  • "We have to take precautions to try to prevent the spread of the mutated variant of the virus," Bakke-Jensen said.
26 Jan 2021

OSLO: Norway has called off two military exercises involving primarily NATO troops in its Arctic region in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Tuesday.

Around 3,400 foreign troops had been scheduled to take part in the Rein I and Joint Viking manoeuvres, including just over 1,000 from the United States and close to 1,000 Britons, Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told a news conference.

As the northernmost European member of the NATO alliance, and sharing a border with Russia, Norway regularly trains its own troops alongside coalition forces to prepare them for winter warfare.

On Saturday, however, Norway announced a new lockdown of its capital region, located further to the south, after an outbreak of a more contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Britain.

"We have to take precautions to try to prevent the spread of the mutated variant of the virus," Bakke-Jensen said.

Although as many as 2,900 foreign troops had already arrived, they will now gradually leave, he added.

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