Norway Seeks to up Defense Spending Over Ukraine War

The government of NATO member Norway proposed on Thursday a nearly 10 percent increase in its defense budget for next year in the wake of neighboring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Scandinavian country, which shares a 198-kilometer border with Russia in the Arctic, plans to use the extra resources to strengthen its military intelligence services, replenish its ammunition stocks, and beef up its national guard.

In its 2023 draft budget, the center-left government proposed to spend 75.8 billion Norwegian kroner ($7.2 billion), an increase of 6.8 billion kroner compared to 2022.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is a threat to Norwegian and European security,” Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said in a statement.

“The war has already had major security political, economic and humanitarian consequences,” Gram added.

Part of the added funds will also be used to replace equipment donated to Ukraine and for additional donations in 2023.

Norway has so far provided Kyiv with 22 howitzers, anti-tank weapons, and anti-aircraft missiles, light armored vehicles in addition to personal equipment.

As the government only controls a minority in parliament, it needs the support of other parties to pass its budget, which could therefore be amended.

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