Norway’s defence minister sees no direct threat from Russia

Defence Minister Bjorn Arild Gram


28th November 2022 – (Berlin) Norwegian Defence Minister Bjorn Arild Gram has asserted that despite current events in Ukraine, he does not see any direct threat to Norway coming from Russia.

In an interview with Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Sunday, the top military official noted that since the onset of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, interaction between Norway and Russia has changed. “That said, we’ve retained some communication channels, we are cooperating on fishery and are working together on sea rescue. We have also been maintaining interaction between our militaries although less actively,” he stressed. That said, he added that “at some point, everything should normalize.” “Yet it may happen that everything will be different than before because this situation also has long-term consequences,” the defense minister added.

He noted that amid the Ukrainian crisis, Norway has increased its military spending and put its intelligence on alert. “However, we do not see a specific direct military threat to Norway itself. This is a serious situation, we should be ready,” he noted.

On 24th February, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.” The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine. Following this, the US and its allies announced sweeping sanctions against Russia and stepped up arms deliveries to Kiev.