Confirms Norwegian cooperation in the EU’s military operation: – A significant contribution

The EU’s military mission to train Ukrainian soldiers in Europe is in full swing.

On Friday, the government confirms that Norway will also contribute.

– We will make a significant contribution to the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Poland and Germany, says Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt to TV 2.

The mission is called EUMAM Ukraine and will provide Ukraine with specialized training in defending itself against Russia.

NEED SUPPORT: Ukrainian soldiers are training hard to be able to fight against Russian soldiers.  Here from a training exercise in Slavjansk on 23 November.  Photo: ANATOLII STEPANOV / NTB.

NEED SUPPORT: Ukrainian soldiers are training hard to be able to fight against Russian soldiers. Here from a training exercise in Slavjansk on 23 November. Photo: ANATOLII STEPANOV / NTB.

Norway gives 150 million

Recently, the EU’s foreign service confirmed to TV 2 that they welcomed Norway into the important military mission.

– Allied unity is very important now and the EU makes a significant contribution to strengthening Ukraine’s resilience, says Huitfeldt.

– Will it be a permanent arrangement?

– It will be an arrangement that will last over time. We must strengthen the Ukrainian defense so that they can stand up to this cruel attacker, says the foreign minister.

Initially, this will mean that Norway contributes with financial support and instructors, which Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram confirms to TV 2.

– The government has decided on NOK 150 million in financial support for the EU’s training mission. It is a significant contribution, in addition to the fact that we will also contribute with instructors to the training of Ukrainian soldiers.

MILLIONS OF SUPPORT: Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp) is clear that Norway's contribution will be significant for the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Europe.  Photo: Annika Byrde / NTB.

MILLIONS OF SUPPORT: Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp) is clear that Norway’s contribution will be significant for the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Europe. Photo: Annika Byrde / NTB.

Will provide specialized training

Exactly how many instructors Norway will contribute is still unclear, but the Minister of Defense is in close dialogue with the EU.

– A large number of Ukrainian soldiers will be trained in Germany and Poland. Both with basic training, similar to what is done in Great Britain, but also with more specialized training of Ukrainian soldiers. We think it is very important to contribute to Ukraine’s defense against an aggressor and then this is a very good initiative, which we want to support, says Gram.

– Does that mean that we will become part of the EU’s military force?

– We become part of the EU’s work to train Ukrainian soldiers, which takes place in close coordination with the UK, where we already train Ukrainian soldiers in basic soldiering skills, says the Minister of Defence.

Hope more people will contribute

Denmark has previously said it is willing to contribute and Sweden has stated that they are considering the same. Huitfeldt hopes this collaboration will increase the likelihood that other countries will perhaps also contribute.

– I hope so, that more people now contribute to supporting Ukraine. Both in terms of electricity supply and humanitarian aid for the reconstruction of Ukraine, says the foreign minister, adding:

FEAR THE WINTER: The training of Ukrainian soldiers will be important for the dreaded winter, which many believe will be cold.  Photo: ANATOLII STEPANOV / NTB.

FEAR THE WINTER: The training of Ukrainian soldiers will be important for the dreaded winter, which many believe will be cold. Photo: ANATOLII STEPANOV / NTB.

– We face a cold winter. The Ukrainians have been successful on the battlefield, but the Ukrainian people are suffering in this situation. We must give them greater resilience because the defense must be able to defend Ukraine.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs is clear that as the situation is now, it requires an increased effort from several quarters.

– We have done this together with Great Britain until now, but now we will also go ahead and do this with other EU countries and it is important, because increased effort is required. The Ukrainian defense is facing an aggressive attacker, and therefore we will provide support so that they can train their soldiers.

Facts about Norway’s contribution to the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Great Britain

* Since June, Britain has been training ordinary Ukrainians in basic soldiering skills. The training takes place in several places in the UK.

* From October, Norway assists with training, together with several other countries.

* So far, around 7,000 Ukrainians have been through the training programme. A further 3,000 will be trained before Christmas, and the British plan to train 19,000 in 2023.

* The training program is based on the British’s own basic infantry training and includes weapons training, first aid and skills needed in the field.

* A contingent of instructors from the Army’s rapid reaction force, mainly from Telemark battalion brigade North, started training Ukrainians last week. Two contingents, mainly from the Home Guard, will leave next six months.

Sources: NTB, the Ministry of Defence, Sky News, the Norwegian Armed Forces

The EU’s foreign service for TV 2

The mission has been set in motion at the request of the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, who has been clear that the need is enormous.

In the first instance, 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers will receive special training.

– The EU’s military assistance mission will train the Ukrainian armed forces so that they can continue their courageous fight. EUMAM is not just a training mission, it is clear proof that the EU will stand by Ukraine as long as needed, Borrell said in a statement earlier this autumn.

TV 2 has been in contact with the EU’s foreign affairs service, which writes that they cannot go into detail about discussions and discussions with a third country at the present time, which is standard procedure.

– EUMAM Ukraine will ensure coordination with the member states’ bilateral activities in support of Ukraine, as well as with other like-minded international partners, and is open to participation from third countries, Borrell’s spokesperson, Peter Stano, writes to TV 2 in an email on Thursday.

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