Norway Aims to Donate Over $7 Billion in New Financial Aid Package to Ukraine

Norway Aims to Donate Over $7 Billion in New Financial Aid Package to Ukraine
Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store (C) is seen during a visit to the Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace weapons factory in Kongsberg, Norway on Jan. 30, 2023. (Petter Berntsen/AFP via Getty Images)

Norway unveiled on Monday a plan proposing to donate 75 billion Norwegian crowns (about $7.3 billion) to Ukraine as part of a five-year support package.

Jonas Gahr Store, prime minister of the Scandinavian country, said during a news conference that the proposed package will be put to a vote in parliament, noting that he expects a parliamentary majority to pass the proposal in the coming weeks.

Store said the money would be split evenly between military and humanitarian assistance over five years, broken down to 15 billion crowns ($1.5 billion) annually.

“Committing to a multi-year package enables us to give predictability to the Ukrainian government and its donors and partners. And not least send the message to the Ukrainian people, that we are ready to stand by them, for as long as it takes,” Store said in a speech at the Leangkollen Security Conference—a two-day conference held in Asker, Norway, each year during the first half of February.

In a statement on Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed gratitude for Oslo’s “unprecedented” assistance package.

“It is a significant contribution to our future victory over the aggressor [and] successful post-war recovery,” Zelensky wrote.

Additionally, Store proposed a plan to increase aid to poor countries most affected by the war in Ukraine due to the rising cost of food and commodities.

“We are all feeling the effects of this war. If the world produces 10 pieces of bread. Three of them would come from the Ukrainian and Russian regions,” Store said, stressing that food insecurity has increased globally amid soaring inflation.

The government is planning to donate an extra 5 billion crowns (about $490 million) in aid each year to poor countries that are hit by soaring prices in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

If the latest proposal passes parliament, the oil-rich country will become one of the world’s top donors in Ukraine.

Norway, a major energy exporter that is entirely self-sufficient in oil and gas, became Europe’s largest supplier following a drop in Russian gas flows due to the conflict in Ukraine. Last year, the country gave Kyiv more than 10 billion kroner (about $1 billion) in civilian and military aid.

US Approves Aid Package to Ukraine

The Biden administration, meanwhile, announced last week that it approved another $2.1 billion military aid package to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense arsenal.

The package includes $425 million in arms and equipment drawn from existing U.S. stockpiles, as well as $1.75 billion in Ukraine Assistance Security Initiative (UASI) funds, which Ukraine can use to purchase new weapons—particularly those related to air defense—from manufacturers contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense.

With the $1.75 billion UASI funds, Ukraine will be able to order from a range of air defense hardware, including two HAWK air defense firing units, four air surveillance radars, anti-drone warfare systems, and anti-aircraft guns and ammunition. Ukraine may also buy equipment needed to integrate Western air defense launchers, missiles, and radars into their existing air defense systems.

“In total, the United States has now committed $30 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration,” the Pentagon said, noting that the United States has sent more than $32 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the 2014 Crimea crisis and more than $29.3 billion since last February, when Russia launched what it called a “special military operation” against Ukraine.

Bill Pan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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