US bomber planes spotted flying over Scandinavia as historic declaration nears collapse

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According to the Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, US bombers and warplanes are frequently flying higher latitudes suggesting Washington is “tightening its grip over the High North”. Some Scandinavia countries are considered to be no longer neutral.

Military advisor Per Eirk Solli at Northern University in Bodø said: “Recently we saw US bombers cruising over Sweden and Norway.

“The fact that the modern strategic bomber B-1B Lancer is flying over previously neutral Sweden is brand new.

“We have not seen that before.”

Last month, two US B-1 supersonic bombes flew over Sweden accompanied by Swedish jets.

They then continued over Norway and were flanked by Norwegian F-35 fighter jets.

Since May, a number of other US bombers, including B-52s and B-2s appeared near Norway.

Mr Solli said Sweden joining the US in military exercises is a “whole new development”.

He said: “If we compare activity over the last couple of years, US and Allied activity is increasing faster than Russia’s.

“What we see now, which is also new, is that Americans have begun to use their modern naval ships and bombers to send geopolitical signals.

“The fact that Sweden is also involved in this signalling together with the US is a whole new development.

“We see that the US is returning to a more traditional deterrence.

“And in addition to balancing militarily against Russia, the Americans are doing the same to China now.”

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Jeffrey Harrigian, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Air Force in Europe, defended the military exercises and said they strengthen the relationship with their allies.

He said: “The exercises strengthen the partnership with our allies, and demonstrate our ability to respond worldwide, from anywhere.”

For more than a hundred years, Sweden and Finland remained neutral but according to Norwegian Defence Minister, Frank Bakke-Jensen, they no longer do.

He said: “Sweden and Finland previously referred to themselves as neutral countries.

“They no longer do. Now they refer to themselves as non-allied, but are part of Western defence cooperation.

“This is new, but it’s also something Sweden and Finland want.”

Norway’s Labour leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, previously expressed concern NATO was not paying enough attention to Russia.

But he has seemingly changed his tune and said: “We must never get into a situation where other states are pushing up the level of tension in our proximity without us being involved.

“It is in Norway’s interest to ensure low voltage.

“There is every reason to pay attention.”

The relationship between Norway and Russia has been strained over recent years.

Both countries have accused each other of espionage and both are concerned with each other’s military presence.

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