Norway to join initiative to provide Ukraine with additional air defence assets

Monday, 22 April 2024

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has said that Norway would financially join the initiative to provide Ukraine with additional air defence assets.

According to TV2, the Norwegian Prime Minister met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday. There, Støre announced that Norway would participate in an international air defence initiative for Ukraine.

"We have very little time to delay, so Norway will be involved in financing. There are several other countries that are contributing to this, because there are air defence systems that can get to Ukraine quite quickly, and they have been working intensively on this in the last few days and weeks," he said.

Støre said that producing air defence systems takes time. This means that they need to be sent from their warehouses.


"That has been the pattern so far, and we have also contributed to that. Other countries will also dig deeper to contribute to this. We also need to increase production," he said.

"The news every morning is about Russian missiles and drones hitting civilian buildings and power plants and killing many people. Ukraine has been able to defend itself against this, but it is beginning to run out of steam," the Norwegian Prime Minister said.

He said that in order to make an effective contribution, Norway will revise the budget of the Nansen programme, which provides military and civilian support to Ukraine in the amount of NOK 75 billion (US$6.8 billion) over five years.

Støre said there were significant amounts of money that needed to be spent on air defence, but did not name the exact amount.

"We will come back to this when we present the revised budget. It is expensive, but preserving peace and freedom costs money. Ukraine and Ukrainians pay the most expensive price," he stressed.

Germany stated on Monday that the new Patriot air defence system would be delivered to Ukraine as soon as possible.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that he expected new air defence commitments "to be announced shortly" but did not provide any details on the countries or weapons involved.

The Financial Times noted that Greece and Spain were under intense pressure from their EU and NATO allies to provide Ukraine with additional air defence systems.

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