February 26. 2024. 5:35

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Norway to take leading role in Ukraine support, reconstruction

Norway will take on a more substantial role in the international support Ukraine receives, Norway’s Prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre declared on Thursday before the Norwegian Storting, advocating for a larger and more long-term Ukraine program financed by oil revenues.

On Thursday, Støre declared that his centre-left government believes Norway can take a leading role in the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.

“The Ukrainian leadership has several times asked that important allies such as Norway lead the way,” said Støre, adding that his government believes that Norwegian aid must be built up over time and developed in close contact with international partners.

All of this, “with the aim of strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law in Ukraine,” he added.

“Last year we gave over NOK 10 billion (€913 million) in civil and military support to Ukraine. We are now stepping up this support. We will contribute even more to the repair and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure,” said Støre, adding that it was in the kingdom’s interest that Ukraine does not lose the war.

“The Ukraine program will involve a temporary increase in the use of oil money,” he said, adding that Norway has room for these increased expenses as the country has gained a lot of money due to high oil and gas prices.

According to the Norwegian government, increased support for Ukraine should not have negative consequences for the economy in Norway and will also benefit other countries affected by the war.

“Norway must be among those who both see the needs in Ukraine, but also the great needs that increased inflation, especially on food, has brought with it in some of the world’s poorest countries,” Støre said.

He announced a separate, one-year extra grant for developing countries that are particularly affected by the war’s global repercussions.

“This will mean an increased Norwegian contribution to humanitarian efforts and the fight against hunger in countries in Africa and the Middle East, which will also contribute to reduced migration pressure towards Europe in a demanding time,” said Støre.

(Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com)