‘Today, the most wide-ranging package of sanctions ever imposed by Norway has been incorporated by the Government into Norwegian law. The sanctions are a response to Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine and also an expression of Norway’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
The EU has imposed a range of sanctions in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and the Norwegian Government announced from the outset that Norway would align itself with the EU sanctions. The sanctions that Norway is now imposing are large-scale and wide-ranging. They are intended to cripple Russia’s ability to finance its illegal war against Ukraine. The measures will prevent the export of technology, goods and services that could be used by Russia to pursue the war. They will have an impact on the financing of the Russian regime. They also target individuals in Russia and Belarus who have been involved in the decision-making surrounding, and the implementation of, the illegal attack on Ukraine, and in the attempts to justify the invasion.
‘These sanctions will hit the Russian regime hard. We are imposing asset freezes and travel bans on named individuals and discontinuing certain visa facilitation arrangements for entry into Norway, as well as halting exports, trade and transactions that could either directly support Russia’s war machinery or help to finance or facilitate the war against Ukraine. We are introducing our sanctions together with the EU and other countries to ensure that they have maximum effect,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.
Norwegian citizens and companies, and other people and enterprises in Norway, must comply with the sanctions that have now been adopted. The sanctions target the financial, energy, transport, technology and defence sectors, and also impose restrictive measures on hundreds of individuals and entities. It is a criminal offence to violate these sanctions. Norwegian companies must exercise due diligence and must study the measures carefully if there is any risk that their activities could involve entities and individuals on the sanctions list. Norwegian banks must ensure that they have effective systems in place for stopping attempted payments to sanctioned individuals and entities.
‘There is limited trade in goods and services between Norway and Russia. But the sanctions will still have far-reaching consequences for some enterprises. This will particularly be the case in eastern Finnmark, where we are now introducing measures to help alleviate the economic challenges that companies and local communities are facing. This is vital to safeguard jobs and lay the foundation for more permanent restructuring’ said Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre.
The sanctions adopted today are a comprehensive addition to those Norway introduced in 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. These new measures have now been incorporated into Norwegian law, which ensures that the Norwegian authorities have a comprehensive legal framework in place for enforcing the sanctions and also makes it easier for people and companies to comply with the measures.
‘We understand that the situation is complex and we are in close dialogue with the business sector. We will hold information meetings, we have already established an information helpline and an email enquiry service, and we will update information on the Government website on an ongoing basis. We consider it vital to ensure that Norwegian companies can find the information they need about this wide-ranging package of sanctions,’ Ms Huitfeldt said
More information is available on the Government website (regjeringen.no) and in the regulations themselves. The regulations will enter into force immediately.
‘This first package of sanctions, now formally adopted by Royal Decree and by the Ministry, corresponds to the restrictive measures imposed by the EU up to and including 9 March 2022. The EU sanctions against Russia Today and Sputnik are an exception, and have not been included in this first package. The sanctions against these outlets raise questions of principle and we need to take the time to assess this thoroughly,’ Ms Huitfeldt said.
On 15 March, the EU imposed an additional package of sanctions, which Norway is now considering, with a view to rapidly incorporating the measures into Norwegian law. ‘It is likely that there will be more sanctions against Russia and Belarus to come,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.