The massive U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford sailed into Norway on Wednesday, May 24, to hold NATO exercises with the Norwegian armed forces along the country’s coast, the Norwegian military said.
The ship is the world’s largest aircraft carrier and the exercises, due to start in the coming days, are a show of force for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) at a time of heightened tension between the military alliance made up of 31 countries from Europe and North America and Russia over the war in Ukraine.
Norwegians lined up on the shore, in Nesodden, to watch the carrier sail past the Oslo fjord towards its mooring in Norway’s capital Oslo.
Norwegian media reported the USS Gerald R. Ford would sail north of the Arctic Circle.
The Russian embassy in Oslo criticized the visit in a Facebook post saying: “There are no questions in the (Arctic) north that require a military solution, nor topics where outside intervention is needed.”
NATO member Norway shares a border with Russia in the Arctic and last year became Europe’s largest gas supplier after a drop in Russian gas flows.
The Norwegian military and NATO allies have been patrolling around offshore oil and gas platforms since the autumn, following explosions on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.