Norwegian military vehicles take new transit corridor via Finnish Lapland,

Traditionally, Norwegian military vehicles sent for exercises in the northernmost region of Finnmark follow European highway E6 from and return to the large garrison at Setermoen and Bardufoss south of Tromsø.

That road, circling narrow fjords and over mountains, is vulnerable and easy to block. Like earlier this spring when a bridge collapsed over a flooded river in Kvænangen. Traffic was halted for almost a week.

On Thursday, a column of military vehicles en route home from the live-fire exercise Thunder Bolt tested a new route, not obvious to take advantage of previously; the road via Finland’s northwestern arm.

“This was a successful test of a new route to move military equipment in the north,” says spokesperson with the Norwegian Army, Rolf Ytterstad, to the Barents Observer.

The border crossing had a double symbolic message as it happened the same days as Stortinget, the Norwegian Parliament, voted overwhelmingly in support of Sweden and Finland to join NATO. […]

With Sweden and Finland joining NATO, the security landscape and military planners’ possibilities to chose different options when moving troops, vehicles and weapons in northernmost Europe will be way more diverse than with Norway as the only NATO-country inside the Arctic Circle in border areas to Russia. Läs artikel