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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Norway plans to provide $7.3 billion in aid to Ukraine

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stere on Monday proposed that his country, a major oil exporter, grant Ukraine $7.3 billion in aid over five years.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Norway’s revenues hit record highs as the price of gas sold to Europe soared last year.

Stere, faced with criticism from some countries and part of the opposition inside the country for having indirectly benefited from the war, announced a multi-year aid plan for Ukraine at the end of 2022, without specifying the volume.

In 2023, half of the aid will go to military needs and the rest to humanitarian needs, he said, although this split could change in the coming years.

“This is the largest aid package Norway has ever provided,” Stere told Reuters, adding that the money will be distributed according to Ukrainian government priorities and will not necessarily go directly to authorities.

“We must do everything to avoid corruption and other abuses, which is an important priority for Ukraine. But now this country is at war,” he said.

Norway should also allocate an additional 5 billion crowns in aid this year to poor countries suffering from a sharp rise in world food prices due to the war in Ukraine, Stere said.

Stere’s proposal must now be approved by parliament, which would increase the Norwegian wealth fund’s annual spending by $1.4 trillion.

The main opposition Conservative Party generally supported the plan, subject to final negotiations on the issue in the coming weeks.

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