Norway to increase emergency aid to Ukraine
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Thursday that foreign aid to Ukraine will be increased and that Norway hasn't seen an increase in military activity along its border with Russia in the Arctic Circle.
“Today, we woke up to war in Europe. We have long feared that Russia would launch a massive military attack on Ukraine. It is happening now,” Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at a press conference on Thursday.
In the early hours of Thursday, Norwegian time, Russia launched a large scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces have bombed the capital of Kyiv and several other cities.
“The attack we now see is an attack on Ukraine’s freedom and sovereignty. But is also an attack on a free and democratic Europe. Norway strongly condemns Russia’s military attack on Ukraine,” Støre said.
The PM announced that Norway would be increasing its emergency aid to Ukraine by 200 million kroner.
“Norway is already providing humanitarian, economic and political support, but we will provide more in the time to come,” he said.
Støre also said the country would be increasing its armed forces’ preparedness.
“In line with NATO’s routines, which are well established, the Chief of Defence has initiated planned measures to strengthen the armed forces’ vigilance and preparedness,” Støre said.
Støre added that Norway would join in with new sanctions imposed against Russia.
Norway shares a border with Russia in the Arctic Circle, but Støre reassured the Norwegian public that there were no signs of increased activity near Norway’s border.
“I know that many Norwegians today feel uneasy, and some are afraid. I understand that. I would therefore like to emphasise that we do not see any increased military activity in our immediate areas, but as part of our preparedness, we are also increasing vigilance, and we are following the situation closely,” he said.