Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone for an hour on Thursday.
How much of what happened in Ukraine did Russian President Vladimir Putin actually get? Norway’s allies and partners have given signals that they are not completely safe.
This was conveyed by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre when met with the press on Thursday afternoon. The occasion was a telephone conversation earlier in the day with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Støre told Putin what Norway and our allies think about the war – and Russia’s responsibilities.
Condemn Russia’s war crimes
In the conversation, Støre highlighted, among other things, Russia’s attacks on civilians in Ukraine. The aim was to convey to the Russian president what the reality in the country was after more than a month of war.
– One way to contribute is that we say clearly. Then we’ll have a wise assessment of how effective it is, says Støre.
– I provide information about how the world perceives what is happening, and what is happening on the pitch.
He stressed that Norway condemns the attack in Ukraine and that Russia was behind violations of international law and war crimes when it attacked civilians.
– The situation with four million refugees in five weeks speaks volumes about what kind of war this is, says Støre.
He also highlighted two points:
- That it is important to find a political solution in the negotiations in Turkey.
- The humanitarian aid was provided for Mariupol. The port city in eastern Ukraine has been under massive attack and siege since the war began.
– I appealed to the president of Russia and said that he is the one who has the opportunity to find a way out of this, said Støre.
He added that Norway and the West view the war as Russia’s fault.
Aftenposten has contacted the Russian embassy about the phone call. They have not commented.
Støre pointed out, however, that the conversation was “calm and orderly”, but that Norway and Russia had different views on the war. The Prime Minister also believes that Russia’s rhetoric has changed. There is increasing focus on negotiations taking place this week in Istanbul, Turkey.
It was Norway who took the initiative for the conversation. It came after Støre on Wednesday had a video conversation with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Sjmyhal.
President Zelenskyj asks Storting to send more weapons
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also spoke at Storting. The historic speech was met with a standing ovation. Prior to the speech, it was also known that Norway sent 2,000 new anti-tank missiles to Ukraine.
The Prime Minister was also asked how the war in Ukraine could affect relations between Norway and Russia, especially in the North. Støre stressed that this was not the focus of the conversation with Putin, but was mentioned.
– I found that it was a good and practical collaboration over the years. The president is not against me, Støre said.
The most important thing about: The war in Ukraine
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