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Norway to provide NOK 3 billion in military support to Ukraine

The Norwegian government proposes an additional NOK 3 billion in military support to Ukraine in 2022. Most of the funds will finance military support to Ukraine through international mechanisms. The government also proposes up to NOK 250 million to acquire winter clothing and equipment for the Ukrainian forces.

- The invasion of Ukraine has created the largest security crisis in Europe since the Second World War. Russia's invasion challenges stability in Europe and will have a negative impact on the security-situation for a long time to come. The need for military support for Ukraine is extensive and time-critical. Donations make it possible for the Ukrainians  to defend itself against Russia's invasion, says Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp).

The Norwegian government will continue its military support to Ukraine, mainly through donations of military equipment, procurement of new military equipment and training of Ukrainian forces. In the proposal that was submitted to the Parliament September 30th, an increase in the defense budget of NOK 3 billion is proposed for 2022.

Military support to Ukraine

The main part of the grant, NOK 2,691 million, will be placed in a new budget post entitled "Military support to Ukraine". From this allocated post, the money will go, among other things, to international mechanisms for military support, such as the British International Fund for Ukraine. Through this mechanism, various countries can contribute money to acquire defense materials that Ukraine needs directly from the defense industry. The government also intends to participate with a Norwegian contribution to the European Peace Facility (EPF), and is considering support through other channels such as mechanisms led by the USA.

Up to NOK 250 million will be set aside to provide Ukrainian forces with necessary equipment and clothing for the winter.

- Winter-equipment is essential for the Ukrainian soldiers to be able to operate through the autumn and winter. They have already lost a lot of thieir equipment in the first months of the war. The need to assist Ukraine with winter equipment is urgent and many western countries are working to assist. The countries that support Ukraine contribute in a coordinated effort to acquire heat-insulating clothing and other materials such as tents and primus stoves. Norway has expertise in winter clothing, so many contracts might go to Norwegian suppliers, says the Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.

NOK 59 million will cover the Norwegian Armed Forces and Norwegian Defense Materiel Agency’s additional expenses in connection with  preparation, maintenance and transport of donations in 2022.

Soldater i vintervær
Illustrasjonsfoto. Credit: Forsvaret

 

Broad international collaboration

Ukrainian needs are time-critical and constantly changing. Through the proposed grant, Norway will contribute to meet changing Ukrainian needs and at the same time deal with delivery challenges related to military equipment and ammunition as a result of high international demand.
- Norwegian contributions are part of a broad international collaboration, in which many countries contribute. In a constantly changing scenario with great uncertainty, there is a need to create flexible arrangements that give us the opportunity to adapt the use of the funds as the situation changes on the ground, says Gram.


Previous support for Ukraine

Since Russia's attack in February, Norway has participated in the international support for Ukraine. Among other things, Norway has donated helmets, splinter vests,M72 light anti-tank weapons, M109 self-propelled artillery and ammunition, Mistral air defense, Hellfire missiles, IVECO armored vehicles and night optics. It has also been decided to donate M270 long-range rocket artillery (MLRS) in cooperation with Great Britain and to support the American donation of the Norwegian-developed air defense system NASAMS. In addition, Norway has contributed with training and education of Ukrainian forces in Norway and in third countries.

The Norwegian Defence Forces estimated in the beginning of September that the donations that have been carried out so far have a value in use, not linked to replacement, of around NOK 2 billion. This amount includes weapon systems and ammunition, in addition to a grant to the British-run International Fund for Ukraine (IFU) of NOK 400 million.

The Norwegian contribution to the IFU has so far gone towards the purchase of reconnaissance drones and jamming systems against drones.

For an overview of Norwegian donations: https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/foreign-affairs/humanitarian-efforts/neighbour_support/id2908141/

 

Further organization of Norwegian military support to Ukraine

Until now, Norwegian donations have mainly been weapons systems and military equipment that has been, or planned to be, phased out from the Norwegian structure. The operational structure has not yet been affected, but the donations have led to a reduction in stocks. The military support for Ukraine is now going in a new direction. In the future, the donations will largely consist of material purchased directly from the industry, of a western model and standard. This will simplify both logistics and training, practice and education.

The support will be based on priorities and needs reported by Ukraine, and confirmed through the international coordination mechanisms.

Norway participates in several international collaborations to make support for Ukraine more efficient. In addition to the contribution to the British funding mechanism, Norway participates in the overall American coordination. The government is also exploring other opportunities on how to collaborate. An example of this is the British initiative where it is planned to train 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers. Norway will contribute with instructors..

The Norwegian defence industry has products, technology and expertise that are in high demand internationally. The industry will play an increasingly important role in helping to meet Ukraine's needs for arms and ammunition. At the same time, the necessary capacity must be expanded to meet increased demand from allied countries in addition to re-acquisitions and the build-up of Norwegian emergency stocks.