(Reuters) – Eight northern European nations agreed on Thursday to step up cooperation to counter an increase in Moscow’s military activity that has included a tripling of NATO intercepts of Russian jets this year.
Defense ministers from Nordic and Baltic states and Britain agreed to do more to share intelligence and widen cross-border air force training in the Nordic region after the crisis in Ukraineraised East-West tensions.
“NATO has recorded over 100 intercepts so far this year, three times as many as in 2013 and the year is not yet finished,” he told a news conference. “We will not allow Russia to continue to invade our air space.”
He said Britain was offering to extend a mission by its Typhoon jets to help police Baltic airspace in 2015 and that the northern European nations wanted to share more intelligence and data about Russian military activity.
Norwegian Defense Minister Inger Eriksen Søreide said all the ministers “agree that Russia’s actions (in Ukraine) are totally unacceptable and violate fundamental principles of international law”.