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Norway FM: Nobody does enough for Ukraine

According to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, the West is in agreement on helping Ukraine towards victory. Nevertheless, ”there’s a lot of good words, but not sufficient actual support.”
Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. (Photo via Eastnews.ua)
Norway FM: Nobody does enough for Ukraine

On the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, European Pravda sat down with Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide to discuss several subjects ranging from Norway’s support for Ukraine, concerns about Russian aggression, and bilateral security agreements.

During the interview, the foreign minister noted that the West says one thing when it comes to helping Ukraine to achieve victory in its battle against Russian aggression but does live up to its words in practice.

”I think all of us understand, is that seen from Ukraine, there’s a lot of good words, but not sufficient actual support, the Foreign Minister noted.

During the NATO meeting in Brussels on 3-4 April, where the Alliance celebrates its 75th year of existence, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba drove home the point on the crucial need for more air defense for Ukraine.

“We are now, after a very strong message from Dmytro Kuleba my good friend and colleague – very aware that air defense is number one. Of course, we also continue to work on artillery shells and general support,” Norway’s FM said.

In addition, while noting the need for more air defense and artillery shells, the minister mentioned that Norway is also looking into helping Ukraine in different ways, less publicly.

“And some of us also are looking into how we could do something that goes deeper behind enemy lines. Because you need air defense to defend yourself, but you’re not winning the war with air defense. You’re winning the war by something more,” the minister said.

Eide did not go into further detail on on what exactly he was referring to when mentioning the aspect of doing something deeper ”behind enemy lines.”


Norway does not rule out troop deployment

While speaking on the subject of supporting Ukraine, the Norwegian minister spoke on the possibility of sending his country’s troops to Ukraine. He noted that, as of this moment, Norway does not have any plans of doing so. However, he did not rule out that it might be possible in the future.

“We have no current plans to send troops. I don’t think many countries have. But on the other hand, in the very long run I don’t think we should rule out anything in principle,” said Eide.

In recent weeks, several Western countries have come forward with the idea of possibly sending troops to Ukraine in the future. The first country of which was France, where president Emmanuel Macron openly speculated on the matter.

In response, several European countries opposed the idea, including Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland. However, the Baltic countries are much more open to it, praising France for ‘‘thinking outside the box.”

Poland later announced a shift from its previous opposition to the idea, noting that “The presence of NATO forces in Ukraine is not unthinkable,” Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski said, adding that he appreciated Macron’s initiative.

The Norwegian foreign minister said that right now, it is important for Europe to prepare for the outcome in the United States, on the approval of additional aid to Ukraine. But even if additional aid to Ukraine is not approved in the US, the alliance must make sure that it collectively keeps up a sufficient level of support for Ukraine.

Norway: one of the five largest donors to Ukraine

Norway was one of the first of Ukraine’s allies to adopt a long-term support plan for 2023-2027. Overall, Oslo’s military and humanitarian aid will amount to almost €7.6 billion by 2027, making the Nordic country one of the five largest donors to Ukraine.

Norwegian defense support is crucial for Kyiv, especially considering Norway’s powerful defense industry, which among other things, produces components for the NASAMS air defense system.

Earlier this year, the Norwegian government announced that it would order more launchers and fire control centers for NASAMS air defense systems from Kongsberg Defense and Aerospace (KDA) to be sent to Ukraine.

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