Iceland Authorizes Service Visits of US Submarines

In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming approaches Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., Jan. 9, 2008.InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iceland has informed the US government that US nuclear-powered submarines will be authorized to make brief service visits to receive supplies and exchange crew members off Iceland’s coast, given that they do not carry nuclear weapons and are not equipped to do so, the Icelandic government said on Tuesday. “The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland has informed the Government of the United States that nuclear-powered submarines of the US Navy will be authorized to make a brief service visit in Iceland to receive supplies and exchange crew members. This decision by the Minister for Foreign Affairs is part of the Icelandic government’s policy to support increased monitoring and response capacity of Allied countries in the North Atlantic,” the government said in a statement on the website. The first US submarine will visit in the near future, the government said, adding it will be serviced a few kilometers off the coast and will not make port calls. Reykjavik informed Washington that “it is a condition for the arrival of allied warships in the country that the governments of the respective countries both know and respect the provisions of Iceland’s national security policy that Iceland, and its territorial waters are declared free from nuclear weapons, subject to international commitments … The submarines that are permitted to make service call do not carry nuclear weapons according to US policy and are not equipped to do so,” the statement read. MilitaryUS Drydocks Close Over ‘Earthquake’ Risk, Calling Australian Submarine Deal Into Question1 February, 00:19 GMTIceland believes that the visits will contribute “to strengthening the continuous and active submarine surveillance of allied countries, which ensures better situational awareness and increases the safety of underwater infrastructure,” the statement said, adding that the frequency of visits would depend on the need. Reykjavik also said that the US and Iceland have increased their cooperation to strengthen situational awareness and readiness in the North Atlantic, adding that the service of US submarines “is part of Iceland defense commitments and an important contribution to allied security.”


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