‘The EU’s new restrictive measures against Russia reflect the gravity of the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. Norway will study the measures closely. Given the important foreign policy considerations involved, there is good reason for Norway to align itself with the new measures. We will consult the Storting before a final decision is taken,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The EU’s new package of measures entails restrictions on certain forms of cooperation and economic exchanges with Russia in several new areas.
‘Ever since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in March, the Government has made it clear that Norway needs to stand together with its allies and partners in responding to Russia’s unlawful actions in Ukraine. That is why Norway has chosen to align itself with the EU’s restrictive measures, an approach that has received the unanimous support of the Storting,’ Mr Brende said.
The development of the conflict in Ukraine is deeply worrying, not least because of the active support Russia has given to pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.
‘We are now seeing a situation where law and order has broken down in the heart of Europe. This is extremely serious. There is little doubt that the rebels have received advanced weapons and equipment from Russia. This has served to escalate the conflict and must cease immediately,’ Mr Brende said.
Despite strong appeals from the international community, Russia has shown no willingness to seek to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
‘In a situation like this, we have no choice but to respond. The EU has now done so in a forceful manner,’ Mr Brende said.