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Norwegian Prime Minister on Ukraine: “The war must stop”

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre thinks the world – with one notable hurdle – is on the same page: “The war must stop.

“I heard it from China. I heard it from India. I heard it from African colleagues. And I think that’s an important message because Russia tried to say ‘No, he there are different points of view,” Støre told The Associated Press on Thursday, after the morning meeting of the UN Security Council. “And of course, countries express their opinions in different ways. “But there was consistency. The war must end.”

As a NATO member whose border with Russia stretches over 100 miles (just under 200 kilometres), Norway’s geographic and geopolitical location proved relevant in the context of the crisis. . He is also an elected member of the Security Council.

Støre had a stark assessment of how Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to justify Russia’s actions.

“The narrative of President Putin when he gives a reason to mobilize and continue the war, I believe this narrative is false. That’s not true,” Støre told the AP. “I mean, it’s based on the fact that Russia is under threat, under pressure, under some sort of attack from the West. I’m prime minister in a NATO country and a neighbor of the Russia, a European country, I belong to the West or whatever you call it, but that’s just not true.

Støre does not believe Russia poses a threat to Norway’s territorial integrity, but called the aggression “unacceptable”. He also censured Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s late arrival and early departure from the meeting.

“He chose not to listen to any of the interventions. He spoke and he left after speaking, which is, for me, a sign of insecurity in a way,” he said.

Since the outbreak of war, Norway has supplanted Russia as Europe’s leading supplier of natural gas. Norway has so far resisted the European Union’s demand for gas price caps, with Støre telling the AP that the limits “would not solve the fundamental problem, which is that there is a shortage of gas”.

Støre is a proponent of renewable energy sources, especially offshore wind farms, and believes the energy crisis caused by the conflict could hasten change – “paradoxically, this will help”.

Norway is a founding member of NATO and the Schengen area, but it is not a member of the European Union. While Støre’s party supports membership, the prospect has long been unpleasant for the people of Norway.

Støre says a “fairly stable majority” prefers the status quo, but he has seen “some” movement in opinion polls. Pointing to Sweden’s and Finland’s recent policy shift, he said the war had instead highlighted the importance of NATO.

However, any decision on further sanctions against Russia would be taken in conjunction with Europe, Støre said.

Previous war and tensions absorbed much of Norway’s two-year term on the Security Council, but Støre – a former foreign minister – said he was proud of the role his diplomats played in trying resolve other quagmires, including the return of a UN presence to Afghanistan and access to humanitarian aid in Syria.

“We were able to be a kind of intermediary. When major powers have deep differences, we can play this role. And I think we did that in a way that we can look back on with some satisfaction,” he said. “There are still a few months left and we will be active until the last day.”


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