Norway’s support to Ukraine is of vital importance

The Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine is helping Ukraine both to defend its people and territory against Russia’s attacks and to maintain critical public functions.

Just under a year ago, the Storting (Norwegian parliament) reached agreement on an unprecedented package of support for Ukraine, the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine. Under the support programme, Norway will provide military and civilian support totalling NOK 75 billion over a period of five years. Today, 2 February, the Government presented a white paper on the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine, which provides an overview of Norway’s support.

‘Norway’s support to Ukraine ranges from donations of air defence missiles to the provision of funding to pay teachers’ salaries. Our contributions are important both for Ukraine’s fight to defend itself and for the everyday lives of Ukrainians. Our support to Ukraine is a long-term commitment that has the unanimous backing of the Storting. Russia’s war against Ukraine is the greatest security policy challenge of our time. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their survival and freedom. Their fight to defend themselves is also our fight – for democratic values and European security. That is why Norway will continue to support Ukraine,’ said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Key areas of Norwegian support

  • Broad military support along several tracks to support Ukraine’s fight to defend itself. Air defence and artillery ammunition have long been a high priority for Ukraine, and Norway has provided support in these areas. Together with the UK, Norway is leading a maritime coalition to help Ukraine build up its coastal and maritime defences.
  • Extensive civilian support to the Ukrainian government administration and to maintain critical public functions in sectors such as energy, nuclear safety and health, in order to keep the wheels of society turning in the face of ongoing Russian attacks.
  • Emergency aid to Ukrainians in need. Some 14. 6 million Ukrainians are currently in need of humanitarian assistance.

An overview of Norwegian support under the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine can be found here: Norwegian support to Ukraine and neighbouring countries

The white paper (Norwegian only) is available here 

Group photo of four Norwegian ministers.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre presented the white paper at an event attended by representatives from the defence sector, NGOs, academia and the private sector. Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram and Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim were also present. The Ukrainian authorities were represented by Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defence Lieutenant General Ivan Havryliuk. Credit: Torbjørn Kjosvold / Norwegian Armed Forces

Air defence is critical     

In 2023, Norway provided NOK 10 billion in military support under the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine. Air defence support from Norway has been vital not only for the Ukrainian military forces, but also in protecting the civilian population, apartment blocks, and critical infrastructure.

‘Norway is providing military equipment to Ukraine to better enable the country to protect its people and territory. Among other things, Norway has donated artillery, armoured vehicles, tanks and mine clearance equipment. Together with the UK, we are leading a coalition to help Ukraine build up its coastal and maritime defences. Training Ukrainian soldiers has been a key component of our military support, and instructors from the Norwegian Armed Forces are currently providing training in the UK, Germany and Lithuania as well as here in Norway,’ said Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.

Saving lives

Norway’s military and civilian support is helping to save lives. Norway has provided flights for the evacuation of over 2 100 Ukrainian patients and their accompanying family members to various countries in Europe. More than 350 patients have come to Norway to receive treatment in Norwegian hospitals.     

‘The Government has decided to extend this cooperation with its European partners and will continue to assist in the medical evacuation of Ukrainian patients in 2024,’ said Mr Gram.

Ensuring salary payments                 

Norway’s support to the Ukrainian authorities, via the World Bank, helps to ensure that half a million employees in the school system receive their salary every month.

Funding from Norway is also being used to ensure that 145 000 public sector employees and 56 000 ambulance and fire personnel receive their pay.

‘Our support is helping the authorities to keep the wheels of the country turning, which is crucial for maintaining the Ukrainian people’s morale and capacity to endure living in a country at war over such a long period of time,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion, Norway has provided NOK 3.5 billion to enable Ukraine to purchase gas, repair critical infrastructure and maintain operation of the country’s electricity companies.

‘Support for the energy sector enables people to keep warm and cook food so that they can survive yet another cold winter under Russian attack,’ said Mr Eide.

Investments by Norwegian companies made Norway the largest investor country in the green energy sector in Ukraine before Russia’s full-scale invasion. The Government will continue to give priority to the energy sector in Ukraine in the time ahead.

Three siblings in an Ukrainian room with damages from bombing.
Sibblings. Credit: Oleksii Filippov / UNICEF

Urgent need for assistance

As a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine, 14. 5 million Ukrainians are in need of assistance in order to survive.

‘The need for humanitarian assistance is especially acute near the frontlines and the occupied areas of Ukraine, where it is particularly difficult for our partners to reach people in need. Norway supports the efforts of the UN, the Red Cross and humanitarian organisations to provide food, water, healthcare, heating, shelter and education to the most vulnerable people in Ukraine. Our humanitarian support is also helping to lay the foundation for a better future. Mine clearance efforts are making it safer to move around and enabling farmers to cultivate their crops again,’ said Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

New embassy office         

Under the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine, Norway is also providing civilian support to neighbouring Moldova, which has received a large number of refugees from Ukraine. The Norwegian Government has now decided to open an embassy office in the capital Chișinău to follow-up efforts in this area.

Facts about the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine

  • Five-year package of support for Ukraine totalling NOK 75 billion over the period 2023–2027.
  • Norway’s largest ever support package for a country at war.
  • Includes both military and civilian support.
  • Funding under the programme may also be used to provide civilian support to Moldova, which has been severely affected by the ramifications of the war.