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Rogozin warns Norway on anti-missile defense participation

Russia's Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin. Photo from Wikipedia

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin moves from joking mood to serious language, saying Norwegian politicians should seriously think over implications for their people if participating in decisions that could cause escalation of military threats in Europe.

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It was last Thursday Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said to BarentsObserver that he was worried about the Cold War rhetoric. “It is in itself not worrying that Russia commissions new submarines to replace the older ones,” Barth Eide said and continued: “A language that remains of Cold War rhetoric is used too often. That worries me.”

Dmitry Rogozin last week posted a tweet in comment to the commissioning of Russia’s “Yuri Dologoruky” strategic submarine to the Northern fleet that caused headlines both in Norway and Russia.

The twitter message said: “Shiver, bourgeois! You’re done with!).” 

With the smiling sign in the end, Rogozin meant this was a correct joke to post. He is well known for his saber-rattling, tongue-in-the-cheek rhetoric. Before being appointed to Deputy Prime Minister, he was Russia’s ambassador to NATO and was leader of the nationalistic patriotic party Rodina until it merged with other parties forming the Fair Russia party. As Deputy Prime Minister, Rogozin is among other things responsible for ensuring national defense and mobilization readiness and development of state policy with regard to the defense industry.

After BarentsObserver reported about Espen Barth Eide’s response to Rogozin’s statement, Regnum news agency posted a longer article on Saturday about the Norwegian Foreign Minister’s statement, Norway’s NATO participation and the plans for a stronger military cooperation between the Nordic countries. Dmitry Rogozin reposted the article on his Facebook profile and wrote:

“Norwegian and Polish politicians should not practice in rhetoric but seriously think over implications their peoples will have as a result of USA’s missile defense weapons deployment at their place starting from 2018. Those irresponsible decisions will inevitably cause escalation of military threats in Europe that Russia would have to give its military-technical response. And then no one would keep joking mood. It’s time for Europe to learn to take self-consistent safety decisions instead of constantly checking with Washington and NATO and constantly putting on pomposity and groundless self-complacency out of despair.”

Also on Saturday, Itar-Tass reported with sources in the defense industry that the construction of the two next in line among Russia’s new fleet of strategic submarines will start later this year. The decision is made to start building the fifth Borei-A class on the day of the Navy on July 28 and the sixth in November. The navy source at the same time confirms that the Borei-A class will be built to carry 20 ballistic intercontinental missiles. “Yury Dolgoruky” and the two other of the class already put on water have 16 such missiles.

The fifth Borei-A class vessel will be named “Aleksandr Suvorov” while the sixth vessel most likely will be named “Mikhail Kutuzov”. Both vessels will be built at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk near Arkhangelsk in the White Sea region.