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- Not excluded - VG

– Not excluded – VG

New York (VG) Norway has no plans to send military forces to NATO countries in the east to deter Russia. This is what Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store (Labour) told VG in New York on Monday.

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On Monday, NATO announced that several allied countries, including Denmark, are increasing their military contributions to other member states amid the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine.

Norway now has soldiers in Lithuania as part of NATO’s enhanced defense in the east.

Norway contributes through the advanced NATO forces in Lithuania. There is no change in that. In addition, we have a long coast and NATO eyes and ears in the north. We’ll continue to do just that, and we don’t have any plans beyond that, Store tells VG.

We believe in diplomacy: Store believes that priority should be given to the political and diplomatic track in the Ukraine conflict.

The Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen is now sailing with a US aircraft carrier group in the Mediterranean, and is now embarking on an intense NATO-led naval and air maneuver there. Store says the government has not considered whether the frigate is likely to contribute to further deterrence against Russia in the region.

– They are doing a good and professional job with the United States, says Store, who does not want to speculate on any new assignments.

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Important week

VG asked Støre to comment on NATO’s increased military readiness as NATO President Jens Stoltenberg announced earlier on Monday:

It is not uncommon for NATO members to also consider their security and preparedness when there is a strong build-up of forces in their immediate area. But he says it is the diplomatic and political path that we must emphasize now.

This week, NATO and the United States will provide Russia with written answers, and then Russia will say President Putin will look at the answers and the way forward.

– The Norwegian Prime Minister adds that this week will be very important.

Has the danger of a military attack from Ukraine, the Russian mother, increased or decreased in recent days?

– It was as it was. It is possible and not unlikely. And I think that’s what the Russian leadership wants: it is unclear. This is how the Russian leadership will make the impression that it is an important means of putting pressure on Russia. Then open democracies must think wisely and clearly and not allow themselves to be unnecessarily provoked, but rather not to be gullible, says Store.

State Department changes travel advice

On Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a new travel advice for Ukraine. They now advise against all non-essential travel to the country.

– Due to the tense and unexpected situation in Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is tightening the travel board, said a press release from the ministry.

Since 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised against travel to and residence in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, as well as in occupied Crimea.

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The State Department is now also working to create a travel council that applies to the entire country.

New tip: An army training camp in Kiev, Ukraine.

The situation in Ukraine may change in a very short time. Download the Travel Ready app and log your trip so that the Norwegian authorities can reach you with important messages, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes as advice for those who have to travel to the country.

– If you are already located in Ukraine, we also encourage you to follow developments closely. Make comprehensive assessments of your safety, including obtaining an overview of exit opportunities if necessary.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs Dagbladet They have not decided yet that they will call home or evacuate staff from the Norwegian Embassy.

However, we have plans ready for both recall and evacuation that we can implement if the security situation indicates this is necessary to ensure the safety of our employees, they write in an email to the newspaper.