Prime Minister’s remarks at the press conference on Monday 31 October

Good afternoon, We have convened this press conference because, as of tomorrow, we have decided to increase the readiness of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Let me give you the background to this decision.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created the most serious security situation we have seen in Europe in decades.

What is at stake is Ukraine’s right to independence and freedom. But this is also a fight to defend fundamental values for all countries in Europe and across the world, including Norway.

Russia’s war has virtually no international support. The annexation of four Ukrainian regions is a gross violation of international law.

Russia is now meeting fierce resistance on the ground. Ukrainian forces are reclaiming territory.

As a result of the heavy losses it is suffering, the Russian regime is resorting to new tactics.

Russia has been carrying out a campaign of terror against Ukrainian cities. More than 50 missiles are reported to have been fired from Russia just this morning. The most recent reports indicate that 8 out of 10 people in Kyiv now have no water supply.

Kamikaze drones are targeting civilians.

We are seeing deliberate attacks on the country’s power grid.

According to the latest figures, some 7.7 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country.

There are also clear signs that the regime in Moscow is under increasing pressure.

There are repeated allusions to the use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

And false claims that the Western countries are out to get Russia and are seeking world domination.

It is evident that Russia is seeking to divert attention from the battlefield. The regime is clearly attempting to sow division and create instability in Western countries that are supporting Ukraine’s fight for freedom. 

The effects of this war are increasingly being felt in Europe and here in Norway.

Let me give you a few examples: sky-high gas and electricity prices. 

Incidents that cause fear and anxiety, but where so far we have not been able to prove who is responsible.

Such as the attacks on the pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

Or the act of sabotage on the rail transport network in Germany.

Or other types of intelligence and foreign influence operations that create uncertainty.

We are seeing examples of this in Norway as well.

A man has been arrested in Tromsø on suspicion of working for the Russian intelligence services.

Drones have been sighted at our airports, and near our oil and gas installations. 

And I fully understand that all of this can be unsettling for people.

That is why it is important to emphasise here today that we have a good and up-to-date overview of the situation in our region.

We have currently no reason to believe that Russia will seek to involve Norway or any other countries directly in the war.

But the war in Ukraine makes it necessary for all NATO countries to be more vigilant.

We may face complex threats – across the country, at sea, in the air or online. 

We therefore need to increase preparedness in our country.


The Government had already started strengthening preparedness in Norway before the war broke out. And we have raised preparedness levels a number of times since the invasion.

We have dedicated women and men who are well trained to keep Norway safe in times of uncertainty.   

We have well-developed preparedness plans in place that have been fully updated.

We are now following these plans, and have been throughout this period. At the advice of the Chief of Defence, the Government has now decided to raise military readiness by one level.

The plans set out how we can increase our preparedness in different situations.

Tomorrow, we will be starting to implement the next phase of the plans. This means that the Armed Forces will be put on a higher level of readiness and can focus their activities on what is most essential in the immediate situation.

Let me stress that this decision has not been taken because of anything that has happened over the past 24 hours or in the past few days.

We have taken the decision to increase readiness in response to developments that have been unfolding for some time.

We have already implemented a range of measures and this decision to move on to a new phase of our plans is an appropriate next step, and it is now important to inform everyone who works in the Armed Forces and the public that we have done so.

This is a natural consequence of the times we are living in.

We have trained well to implement the plans we are now putting into action. They are helping to ensure that we are well prepared.

This formal decision to raise the readiness level will enable us to reset priorities and target our efforts towards what is most important now. To focus our attention and resources on activities and operations that are needed to ensure effective preparedness and resilience.

It also sends an important signal to anyone seeking to challenge us that we are following developments closely, we are alert and on our guard. We are raising the threshold for anyone seeking to challenge us, either openly or covertly.

The Armed Forces are guarding our land border in the north, and have in-depth insight into the situation in our neighbourhood.

Norway is also a member of a strong defence alliance. We are not alone. The combined strength of this community makes it very unlikely that anyone would want to attack us. This provides our country with security.


The Government is strengthening Norway’s preparedness because the current situation dictates this.

A series of measures have already been implemented in the civilian sector. Civilian and military preparedness are two sides of the same coin. Both are needed to ensure Norway’s overall preparedness.  

As I have already stated, our decision to increase the readiness of the Armed Forces is not a response to a concrete, direct military threat to Norway. 

The steps we are taking are intended to enhance Norway’s preparedness and operational capacity in the face of the most serious security situation we have experienced in decades.

Our most important task is to safeguard Norway and everyone who lives here.

We are doing what is needed to keep our country safe.