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Norwegian soldiers on the ground in Ukraine.  These are the reasons it can happen.

Norwegian soldiers on the ground in Ukraine. These are the reasons it can happen.

News Analysis: More than two years of war have made the unthinkable a reality.

close your eyes.

  • Remember when in 2022, world politicians were reluctant to send anything more than helmets to Ukrainian soldiers – because that might anger Vladimir Putin?

Pinch your arm.

  • Two years later, Norway received approval to send F-16s to a country at war with Russia.
  • The French and British are now strongly considering sending them Soldiers to Ukraine. Currently not for military duties, but to train Ukrainian soldiers. for now.
  • Western countries have so far given weapons to Ukraine so that it can defend itself, not in order to invade Russian territory. This week, Jens Stoltenberg urged member states to remove restrictions on Ukraine's use of Western weapons. The British and French is already on this path. The same thing is Swedes. The Swedish Defense Minister says it frankly That Swedish weapons could be used against targets in Russia.
  • In Europe, the military has been abandoned – both in factories and in budgets. In the Baltic region, the three countries are building a new “Baltic Wall” against any possible Russian attack. The same thing happens in Poland.

Europe has become something else.

It is not surprising that Vladimir Putin raised his hand to say something.

– Serious consequences

During a visit to Uzbekistan this week, the Russian president responded to Stoltenberg's new call for the use of Western weapons.

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Continued escalation could lead to serious consequences, Putin said during his visit to the capital, Tashkent.

– Do they want a global conflict? He said they should be aware of who they are playing with.

Putin clearly has something to say about the fact that efforts are now being made to ensure that powerful Western weapons can be used against targets inside Russia.

The question is how much to listen.

Missing red line?

Now changes are occurring rapidly in the West's foreign policy. It basically comes down to four things:

1. Facts on the ground in Ukraine. When 50,000 Russian soldiers lined up on the Russian side of the border this spring, Ukraine was unable to attack them. One thing is that Ukraine lacks ammunition. But they also lack the powers to use Western weapons as they please.

In addition, Ukraine lacks soldiers. Flying soldiers to Western countries for training consumes resources and time. Their training on Ukrainian territory will be more effective.

2. Political change at heart. For a long time, the French president had hoped to dissuade Putin from attacking Ukraine. Now the tone is completely different.

French President Emmanuel Macron was the first to say that sending troops to Ukraine could not be ruled out. New policy is required “Strategic ambiguity” By experts. This actually means that Putin will no longer know where he is in the West. A new reality has sunk in: now a tough Putin will be met with tough rhetoric and force.

3. Does Putin really have a red line? With any escalation, the Kremlin raises the nuclear threat. They regularly conduct nuclear exercises. Former President Dmitry Medvedev makes nuclear threats so frequently that they no longer make headlines. But how real is the nuclear threat?

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It is believed that the attacks on the annexed Crimean Peninsula and on Russian territory will never be accepted. Now it hits almost daily at both places. Moreover, China has sent a clear message that the use of nuclear weapons should not happen – something that may have reached Moscow as well.

Putin is repeatedly under pressure, but nuclear weapons remain in stockpiles.

4. Fear of a second front. Eastern European politicians have been issuing warnings for a long time: If Putin wins in Ukraine, he will not stop there. Experts estimate that Russia needs between two and eight years to rebuild its army before it is ready again.

These four trends are working together to drag the West and NATO into the war in Ukraine.

Is Norway ready to become a bigger part of Putin's war?

Great contributions

Norway's contribution to supporting Ukraine is significant. The long-term nature of the Norwegian regime has been highlighted several times by Ukrainian authorities Nansen programmeNansen programmeThe Nansen Program for Ukraine is a Norwegian civil and military support program worth NOK 75 billion for the period 2023-2027. Source: Nordad It is very welcome.

Meanwhile, Norway can boast that it is treating injured Ukrainian soldiers and that it will train Ukrainian marines.

In addition, Norwegian authorities sent weapons to the war-torn country. How well they work is another matter. But Norway contributes.

As a result, the Norwegian authorities may also have to decide how to deal with the rapid developments in European policy towards Ukraine.

Can Norwegian soldiers train Ukrainian personnel in Ukraine? Can they be sent to help clear mines? Will the Norwegian authorities allow weapons to be released from Norway across the border into Russia?

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Because even if the war in Ukraine no longer always grabs the headlines, it is daily changing the boundaries of established politics.

It will also hit Norway.