From May 11 to May 16, Russia and Norway are to hold joint naval exercises Pomor-2012 in the Barents and Norwegian seas. The exercises will involve Russia’s large anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko and the Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen. Such maneuvers are being be held for the 4th time. From the Russian part, the exercises will also involve a rescue tug, anti-submarine aircraft, including Su-33 carrier based fighters, Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft and Ka-27 helicopters.
The key goal of the exercises is to train practice coordination between Russian and Norwegian Navies and Air Forces in the Arctic region, spokesman for the Northern Fleet, Captain Vadim Serga says:
"The exercises are targeted at mastering skills for anti-terrorist missions. They include search operations with the participation of marines, the rescue of a merchant ship from armed extremists, as well as escort duties, coast guard interception of high-speed motor boats and rescue operations. The helicopters’ crews will train landings on the decks of Russian and Norwegian ships."
The Pomor exercises are an important component of the interaction between Russia and Norway which are on friendly relations and are prepared to hold joint naval missions in the economically important areas of the Arctic Ocean. These exercises are conducted on regular basis since 2007, Vadim Serga notes.
"It is quite significant that the exercises will be held between two important national holidays, which are the Victory Day in Russia on May 9, and the Day of Constitution, which Norway celebrates on May 17. These dates show respect for each other's traditions."
Ahead of the exercises the Norwegian frigate “Fridtjof Nansen” has visited the port of Severomorsk, the base of Russia’s Arctic Fleet. The Norwegian sailors also took part in the military parade in the city of Murmansk in Russia’s Arctic region and other events held in the occasion of Victory Day. In its turn, Russia’s anti-submarine ship Admiral Chabanenko is to make a return visit to the Norwegian port of Bodo.