Thank you, Mr. Chair,
Norway has aligned itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. In my national capacity, though, I would like to make a few remarks.
The Russian aggression against Ukraine has had enormous consequences. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and service personnel have been killed. Millions have been forced to flee their homes. Large parts of the country have been reduced to ruins. The devastation is difficult to comprehend.
Norway and others are providing weapons and training to Ukrainian soldiers who are defending their own land against Russia’s brutal aggression.
Ukraine has the right to defend itself against Russia´s armed attack, as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter.
And, other States are entitled to respond positively to Ukraine’s call for assistance in the exercise of its legitimate self-defence.
Ukraine has a critical need to defend itself against continuing Russian missile attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. Ukraine has repeatedly requested international partners to provide more and better air defence systems.
Last week, the Norwegian Minister of Defence visited Kyiv for meetings with President Zelensky and Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov. At the meetings in Kyiv, it was announced that Norway will provide Ukraine with two complete NASAMS firing units in cooperation with the United States.
They will come in addition to the two firing units provided by the United States last fall. NASAMS have proved to be an effective air defence system. Adding two more firing units will significantly improve Ukraine’s ability to protect its cities and critical infrastructure from Russian missile attacks. Norway will also train Ukrainian personnel in the maintenance and operation of the system.
Norway has made substantial contributions to Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, and will to do so in the years to come.