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Norway allocates $153 million to Czech-led artillery initiative for Ukraine

“Ukraine has an urgent need for large quantities of artillery ammunition to withstand the Russian war of aggression,” Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said.
Ukrainian soldiers carry an artillery shell.
A Ukrainian soldier carries an artillery shell. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff
Norway allocates $153 million to Czech-led artillery initiative for Ukraine

Norway will contribute 1.6 billion kroner ($153 million) to a Czech-led initiative aimed at ordering 800,000 155m artillery shells for Ukraine as the country faces an artillery shortage amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, the Norwegian government announced on 7 March.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Czech President Petr Pavel said his country had found about 800,000 artillery shells abroad that could be sent to Ukrainian troops within a few weeks. He said financial support is needed to deliver these munitions to Ukraine. Following this proposal, Belgium announced the allocation of €200 million to the initiative, while the Netherlands pledged €250 million. Previously, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and French President Emmanuel Macron also announced their countries’ decision to join the initiative but did not disclose the future contribution amount.

Russia’s unlawful war of aggression against Ukraine remains Norway’s greatest security policy challenge. No other crises or conflicts have the potential to affect Norway’s security to the same extent. It is about people. People who suffer under Russia’s illegal warfare and who are subjected to oppression and abuses by the occupant. It is therefore crucial for Ukraine and for our own security that Norway continues to support Ukraine’s defense struggle through military and civilian support,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said.

The initiative comes as a response to the EU’s failure to meet its pledge of providing Ukraine with 1 million rounds of artillery by this month while Russia continues to produce more ammunition and receive support from North Korea.

On 2 March, Bloomberg reported, citing Jan Jires, the Czech director general for defense policy and strategy, that Ukraine may receive the first batch of 800,000 shells “within weeks.”

On 26 February, Ukraine launched negotiations with Norway on bilateral security agreements.

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