Researcher Karsten Friis at the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy believes that Russian nuclear weapons can be used in a war with Norway.
Friis refers to three development features for the Russian defense. The three are new missile systems on ships and submarines, the development of tactical nuclear weapons and guidelines on what is called active defense.
– The unpleasant thing about it from our point of view is short warning time, uncertainty about what kind of weapons are used, and the danger that tactical nuclear weapons can be used even at an early stage, says Karsten Friis.
Signed by Putin
The new Russian document on the use of nuclear weapons is entitled “The Russian Federation’s Basic Principles for Nuclear Deterrence”. The document is signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It states that Russian nuclear weapons can be used by «aggression against the Russian state with conventional weapons in a way that threatens the state’s existence»
The Armed Forces and the Norwegian Institute of Foreign Policy confirm that this is the first time that Russia has made public its policy on the use of nuclear weapons.
Russia has most of its nuclear weapons on the Kola Peninsula near the border with Norway.
– Clear signal
Researcher Karen-Anna Eggen at the Department of Defense Studies believes that the Russian document on the use of nuclear weapons fits into a security policy picture characterized by more uncertainty, more difficult balancing act between reassurance and deterrence and rapid technological development.
She believes the document is also a clear message to Norway.
– This is a clear signal to Norwegian decision-makers that Russia is following Norwegian and NATO’s strength building on land and at sea, especially in Russia’s neighboring areas, Eggen says.
The army chief calls it disturbing
The commander of the Army, Major General Lars Lervik, calls the Russian nuclear weapons policy disturbing, a policy that he believes should also be important for the Norwegian Armed Forces.
– It helps to emphasize the development in the security policy situation which means that it is now wise to invest in the Armed Forces, Lervik says.
Researcher Paal Sigurd Hilde at the Department of Defense Studies also believes that the United States, France and the United Kingdom will use nuclear weapons in a conflict they cannot handle by other means.
– During the Cold War and a little less pronounced even today, this is also NATO and thus also Norway’s last stronghold, says Paal Sigurd Hilde.
Hilde believes that the Russian document on the use of nuclear weapons is a reminder that the Armed Forces must deal with nuclear weapons.
– In the face of nuclear weapons, self-protection, mainly digging things into mountains, and spreading so that not everything is destroyed at once, is a big thing Norway can do to prepare, says Hilde.
It has not yet been possible to get a comment from the Ministry of Defense or the Russian Embassy in Norway.