Speech/statement | Date: 02/10/2022 | Office of the Prime Minister
Today the war in Ukraine has become even more serious. A few hours ago, President Putin announced that Russa has annexed four regions of Ukraine as Russian territory. The annexation of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions has no legitimacy.
The so-called ‘referendums’ were carried out under military occupation and are in contravention of international law.
Norway condemns Russia’s annexation of the four regions of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.
Ukraine has sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders.
Ukraine has the right to defend itself against Russian military aggression.
The decision by Russia to annex four regions of Ukraine does not change this.
Russia is seeking to create an energy crisis in Europe.
Russia has sown uncertainty and cut gas supplies to Europe over a long period of time.
The aim is clearly to undermine solidarity in Europe and our support to Ukraine.
And to try to divert attention away from the war in Ukraine.
But Russia has not succeeded, and will not succeed in this.
Norway and its allies will continue to provide political, financial and military support to Ukraine.
Today, the Government submitted a proposal to the Storting to provide an extra NOK 3 billion in military support to Ukraine. This is in line with what we pledged to Ukraine this summer.
I have been in contact with the German Chancellor, the Danish and Swedish Prime Ministers, the President of the European Commission and NATO’s Secretary General today.
We all agree: The EU, NATO and the Nordic region all stand together.
We also discussed the situation in the Baltic Sea.
On Monday, significant damage was discovered on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines. Although it will still take some time to determine exactly what has happened and who is behind it, there is good reason to believe that this is the result of a deliberate act of sabotage, as we also stated earlier this week.
Sweden, Denmark and Germany have now launched an investigation into the incident, and today we offered to provide Norwegian expertise to assist in these efforts.
The incident in the Baltic Sea has led to greater focus on the security of Norwegian oil and gas installations.
The Norwegian authorities have a special responsibility to safeguard the security of the Norwegian continental shelf and the personnel working there.
And as the largest supplier of gas to Europe, we have a responsibility to safeguard a crucial component of Europe’s energy supply.
There are no indications of any direct threats aimed at Norwegian oil and gas installations.
The level of security on these installations is very high.
And security efforts have now been further strengthened in cooperation with Norwegian companies.
A wide range of military and civilian measures have been implemented.
And additional steps to strengthen preparedness have been taken during the past week.
The Armed Forces will have a more visible presence in the areas close to our oil and gas installations.
We are deploying two Coast Guard vessels to patrol the oil and gas fields in the North Sea.
We have also assigned a maritime patrol aircraft to monitor the same area.
We are in a dialogue with our allies regarding increased presence in the Norwegian offshore sector, and have accepted the assistance of Germany, France and the UK.
We have enhanced our air and maritime surveillance and cyber monitoring efforts, and have increased guard patrols.
I understand that people are concerned about the potential ramifications of the situation in the Baltic Sea, and whether a similar incident could affect Norwegian oil and gas installations and the many people working on them.
Tomorrow I will visit an oil platform in the Sleipner field to discuss the situation in the wake of the incident in the Baltic Sea. I will be given a briefing and meet employees on the platform. They are many and each and every one of them is important”.
Let me repeat: we have no indications of any direct threats to Norway or Norwegian infrastructure.
But we are vigilant, and we are staying in close contact with our neighbours, allies, partners and companies. And we have heightened our level of preparedness.
In this situation, it is good to have allies to rely on, and it is good for our allies to know that they can rely on Norway.