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OSLO: Norway and the United States on Friday signed a defence agreement paving the way for the Pentagon to invest in military infrastructure in the Nordic country that shares a border with Russia. Washington and Oslo, which have had defence agreements for 70 years, also agreed on the conditions under which US troops can travel to Norway for regular training.

A NATO member, Norway has refused to allow foreign countries to establish permanent military bases on its soil in peacetime in order to avoid provoking Russia.

“This is not an agreement about planes or soldiers but an agreement that facilitates US military activities in Norway,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said.

“It’s out of the question to open bases for foreign combat troops in Norway during peacetime,” she told reporters.

The deal gives the Pentagon the possibility to invest in infrastructure at four sites: the Rygge air base for fighter jets, the Sola base for in-flight refuelling, the Evenes base for maritime surveillance and the naval logistics base in Ramsund.