The Russian attack on Ukraine has created a real danger of a humanitarian catastrophe in Europe. Such is the grim prediction of Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party) in Storting, Tuesday morning.
“Russia’s war in Ukraine means we feel the contours of something much bigger,” Huitfeldt said in a statement on foreign policy.
He said the new security policy realities would affect markets, which could trigger food shortages and thus the danger of “a humanitarian crisis in Europe that we haven’t seen in decades”.
Huitfeldt says this seriousness is exacerbated by the fact that we are in the midst of a climate crisis that is more pressing than ever to resolve.
The main consequences for Norway
– Here in Norway, we have all the prerequisites to go through this with a vengeance. But it does set us up for some tough choices — like the one in 1949, Huitfeldt said, referring to the Storting meeting when Norway joined NATO’s new defense alliance.
Huitfeldt points out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also unified Europe and NATO in a unanimous response:
– The security situation in Europe has fundamentally changed, he said – but added that today it is impossible to say what the outcome of the situation will be.
– What we do know is that this will have huge consequences for Norway, he added.
– We see a more united EU than ever. The European Union and individual countries had made decisions that were completely unthinkable before the war, Huitfeldt said.
The Foreign Minister used part of his speech at the Storting to talk about what happened in Ukraine in the 1930s, when millions died of starvation after Stalin’s actions.
He pointed out that the then Prime Minister of Norway, Johan Ludwig Mowinckel, tried to persuade the world community to intervene.
– He wants the League of Nations to get involved. But the superpowers at the time chose not to respond. Ukraine noticed this, Huitfeldt said.
“Once again, a brutal dictator in Moscow has brought suffering to the Ukrainian people,” he added.
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