The Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, believes that the world – with one remarkable steadfastness – is on the same page: “The war must stop.”
“I heard it from China. I heard it from India. I heard it from African colleagues. And I think that’s an important message because Russia has been trying to say, ‘No, there are different views,'” Store told the The Switzerland Times on Thursday, after the UN Security Council meeting this morning. opinion in different But in this there has been consistency. The war must stop.’
As a NATO member whose border with Russia extends well over 100 miles (just under 200 kilometers), Norway’s geographic and geopolitical location has proved relevant in the context of the crisis. It is also an elected member of the Security Council.
Støre had a blunt assessment of how Russian President Vladimir Putin has tried to justify Russia’s actions.
“President Putin’s story when he gives a reason to mobilize and continue the war, I believe that story is false. It’s not true,” Store told the TSWT. “I mean, it’s based on Russia being threatened, pressured, attacked in some way by the West. I am Prime Minister in a NATO country and bordering Russia, a European country, I belong to the West or whatever you call it, but this is just not true.”
Støre does not believe Russia poses a threat to Norway’s own territorial integrity, but labeled the aggression “unacceptable”. He also denounced the late arrival and early departure of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“He chose not to listen to the interventions. He spoke and left after he spoke, which to me is a sign of, in a sense, uncertainty,” he said.
Since the outbreak of the war, Norway has supplanted Russia as Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas. Norway has so far resisted the European Union’s demand for gas price caps, with Støre telling the TSWT that the limits would not solve “the fundamental problem, which is that there is a shortage of gas.”
Støre is a proponent of renewables, especially offshore wind farms, and thinks the conflict-induced energy crisis could accelerate the shift — “paradoxically, it will help.”
Norway is a founding member of NATO and falls within the Schengen area, but it is not a member of the European Union. While Støre’s party supports accession, the prospect has long been unpalatable to the Norwegian people.
Støre says a “pretty stable majority” prefers the status quo, but he has seen “some” movement in opinion polls. Referring to the recent policy change of Sweden and Finland, he said the war has emphasized the importance of NATO.
However, any decision on further sanctions against Russia would be made in conjunction with Europe, Støre said.
The war and previous tensions have taken up much of Norway’s two-year term on the Security Council, but Støre – a former foreign minister – said he is proud of the role his diplomats played in resolving from other swamps, including returning a UN presence to Afghanistan and accessing humanitarian aid in Syria.
“We can be a kind of intermediary. If the superpowers have big differences, we can play that role. And I think we’ve done that in a way that we can look back on it with some satisfaction,” he said. “There’s still a few months to go and we’ll be active until the last day.”
For more TSWT coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly