World’s largest aircraft carrier lands in Oslo for NATO exercises
By Gwladys Fouché
OSLO (Reuters) – The world’s largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, sailed into Oslo on Wednesday, a first for such a U.S. vessel, in a NATO show of force at a tense moment increased between NATO and Russia over the war in Ukraine.
The ship and its crew will carry out training exercises with the Norwegian Armed Forces along the country’s coast in the coming days, the Norwegian military said.
“This visit is an important signal of the close bilateral relationship between the United States and Norway and a signal of the credibility of collective defense and deterrence,” said Jonny Karlsen, spokesman for the Norwegian headquarters, the operational command center of the army.
Norwegian media reported that the aircraft carrier would sail north of the Arctic Circle. Karlsen declined to comment on the reports.
The Russian Embassy in Oslo condemned the aircraft carrier’s visit to Oslo.
“There are no issues in the (Arctic) north that require a military solution, nor any matters that require outside intervention,” the embassy said in a Facebook post.
“Considering that it is accepted in Oslo that Russia poses no direct military threat to Norway, such displays of power seem illogical and harmful.
NATO member Norway shares a border with Russia in the Arctic and last year became Europe’s biggest gas supplier after a drop in Russian gas flows.
The Norwegian military and NATO allies have been patrolling offshore oil and gas platforms since the fall, following explosions on Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Bernadette Baum)