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Norway is to break a decades-old commitment not to host foreign troops on its soil by accommodating 330 US Marines next year. Russia, the apparent target of the buildup, said it was puzzled by the move.
The Marines will be stationed at the Vaernes military base in central Norway from January, the Norwegian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The agreement for the deployment will be reviewed in the course of the year, it added.
Other NATO members have sent troops for training in Norway, with as many as 15,000 visitors arriving for an exercise in 2000. The new deployment of US Marines technically follows the same procedure, allowing US military personnel in Norway on provisional rotation rather than permanently.