Thousands of NATO troops have deployed near Norway's border with Russia for a series of joint military exercises amid rising tensions over the Ukraine crisis.
The exercises in the Scandinavian country come as NATO, concerned about Moscow's actions in Crimea and its support for separatists in Ukraine, has deployed 7,000 soldiers along its borders with Russia.
"We have had a good cooperation with Russia over the years, but after Crimea and what we have seen in Eastern Ukraine, the future of global and European security is uncertain and unpredictable. I think that's the right way to see it." said Lieutenant General Rune Jakobsen of the Norwegian Armed Forces.
In January, 300 American marines were stationed in Norway for a rotational deployment.
But, Norway made a pledge not to host a permanent deployment of foreign soldiers.
Some 8,000 troops have been deployed in total, including British marines that joined the US and Norwegian forces.
— U.S. Army Europe (@USArmyEurope) March 6, 2017
"This exercise isn't geared to any particular adversary. It's an opportunity for us to re-engage with the Norwegians who we have a long history with, and take advantage of the training opportunities provided here," Lieutenant Colonel Riley Smith of the US Marines said.
The Kremlin says the troop build-up is a provocation and part of an ongoing eastward expansion of NATO.
TRT World’s Sarah Morice visited Norway's Skaidi to talk to troops deployed there.