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Oil-rich Norway is looking to donate $7.3 billion to Kyiv as part of a five-year support package that would make the Scandinavian country one of the world’s biggest donors to war-torn Ukraine, the Norwegian government said Monday.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said the money would be split evenly between military and humanitarian assistance over five years, broken down to $1.5 billion annually. The proposed aid package will be put to a vote in parliament.
Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that overall, the European Union’s economic, humanitarian and military support for Ukraine now amounts to almost 50 billion euros. Earlier this month, the EU said it would unveil its 10th package of sanctions against Russia on the Feb. 24 anniversary of the war. It will target technology used by Russia’s war machine, among other things.
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Norway, which isn’t an EU member, gave Ukraine more than $1 billion in civilian and military aid last year.
“It will lead to an increased use of oil money,” Gahr Støre said, adding that he’s hoping “a large majority” in the Norwegian parliament would approve the aid package. A parliamentary majority is expected to pass the proposal.
NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, left, and Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store speak at a conference in Oslo, Norway, on Feb. 6, 2023. (Terje Pedersen/NTB Scanpix via AP)
“Supporting Ukraine is supporting a people experiencing war, but it is also support for our fundamental security,” Gahr Støre told a press conference.
“We are showing the Ukrainians that we will support them for a long time,” adding it would make “it possible to plan better so that the money is used where the needs are greatest.”
At a conference earlier Monday in Oslo, Gahr Støre spoke of a new Iron Curtain dividing east and west.
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“The implications for Europe are hard to overestimate. A Russia in self-imposed isolation is bad news for of us.” He also said that “Ukraine’s needs are immense.”
The government in Oslo also proposed to increase the aid to countries that are hit by the war in Ukraine by $490 million -– that money should be used on humanitarian aid and food.
Last week, the Norwegian government said that oil profits should go toward funding more aid to Ukraine.
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Norway is one of Europe’s largest fossil-fuel exporters, and the conflict in Ukraine has boosted its gas revenues. However, Norway has fended off accusations that it’s profiting from the war in Ukraine.
A rush by European countries to secure alternative energy sources following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago dramatically increased the demand — and price — for Norway’s oil and gas.