Zelenskyy Addresses Norwegian Parliament, Which Is Discussing Package of Almost €7 Billion for Ukraine

Thursday, 16 February 2023

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has addressed Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, where the government is presenting its five-year NOK 75 billion (almost €7 billion) aid package to Ukraine on Thursday.

"Sovereign states have the right to defend themselves and have the right to receive assistance from friends to defend themselves. Russia's war against Ukraine violates all of these principles, which are crucial for Norway and our national interests. That is why the struggle of Ukrainians is also our struggle," NRK broadcasting company quotes Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre before giving the floor to the Ukrainian president.

Zelenskyy thanked Norway for its assistance in the war, which helped save thousands of lives.

He also recalled that he first addressed the Storting on the 35th day of the war and noted that a lot has changed since March and that there is confidence that the free world will not leave Ukraine alone.

"The Norwegian contribution to this is historic. You are helping us with air defence, which protects our cities from Russian terror, you are helping us with anti-tank weapons, you are helping us with the restoration of energy infrastructure after the strikes of Russian missiles and Iranian-made drones. And now you are setting a very important precedent for long-term financing of a country that is defending its independence and the right of every country to live in accordance with international law," Zelenskyy said.

He added this precedent was important because it gave the people a sense of the future and confidence in the presence of a reliable friendly shoulder in the future.

"We don't know what will happen during this 5-year period. But we know what will not happen: Russia will not overcome our unity, the Kremlin will not make terror and intimidation a new reality for Europe. The Russian flag will not remain over the occupied territories of Ukraine. This is as certain as your NASAMS protecting the skies of Ukraine," Zelenskyy said.

He emphasised that Ukraine still needed air defence, and it was a matter of life and death. Thus, he mentioned the Russian attack last night, when Ukrainian air defence was able to shoot down half of the missiles. According to the president, the goal is to repel Russian terror completely.

The government and the majority in the Storting agree on a 5-year program to help the war-torn Ukraine.

The support package is called the Nansen Program.

By 2027, Ukraine will have received multibillion-dollar aid from Norway. The aid is to be both military and civilian.

The total amount of assistance is NOK 75 billion, with NOK 15 billion [nearly US$1.5 billion] allocated annually.

There is a broad political support in the Storting for the government's package for Ukraine. Several party leaders attended the presentation of the package in Storting on Thursday.

Norway will also provide support to southern countries that have suffered from the consequences of wars. At the same time, Norway will provide both humanitarian and food aid to countries suffering from hunger.

Norway decided to donate eight Leopard 2 tanks and up to four special purpose tanks to Ukraine.

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