What is happening in Ukraine is a great human catastrophe. Russia once again violates international rules of the game and international law. The situation is very serious, of course, for the Ukrainian people, but also for the whole of Europe. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but we have a moral responsibility to support what we can without triggering a major war and without having to fear Putin's red lines. The western world must draw its own red line and set premises. Russia's tyrant cannot escape such an unprovoked, brutal war crime. What kind of precedent would that create? And who can say he would stop there? Who said "never again"?
Those who still believe in a negotiated solution with Putin are outright ignorant and naive.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was very specific about the weapons he himself asked for in his speech to the Norwegian Storting. Either we should give them the weapons, or money that allows them to obtain them themselves. The Ukrainian president specifically asked for anti-tank missiles, the Norwegian-developed air defense system NASAMS and Harpoon missiles that can be used against warships and naval targets.
"I am shocked by reports of unimaginable atrocities in Ukrainian areas from which Russia is withdrawing," the norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said in a written statement to VG.no.
We want to quote Ukrainian authorities: "it is not time for words, it is time for action".
Here we will focus on the moral responsibility we have for our fellow human beings. The Norwegian government has so far contributed two billion to humanitarian aid. It is very good and Ukraine needs more.
We've experienced several genocides in history and we're just observing the next one? After the war crimes that have been documented both by the media and by satellite photos from the USA, strong action should now be taken from the West. We have a moral responsibility that is not enshrined in any NATO agreement, but elsewhere. The only solution is to give the regime in Russia a military and economic defeat.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a speech: Peace in your country no longer depends only on you and your people. It depends on those next to you, on those who are strong. Strong does not mean big. Strong is brave and ready to fight for the lives of its citizens and world citizens. For human rights, for freedom, for the right to live decently and to die when your time comes, not when it is desired by someone else, by your neighbor. Today, the Ukrainian people are not just defending Ukraine. We fight for the values of Europe and the world, and sacrifice our lives in the name of the future.
The argument against a no-fly zone comes down to the argument that Russia's nuclear weapons make this too dangerous to implement? Put simply, it means Putin can do whatever he wants: It says that if he wants to hold a military parade anywhere in the world, do we not dare interfere?
Of course, we are not saying that: we are saying that we want to defend the territory of every NATO member. But is it justifiable to draw this line? If this is really where we draw the line - and give Russia unhindered access everywhere else - then we must change our promise / boast of "never again" to "never again" in NATO.
Why is the risk of defending against Russia worth taking for NATO, but not for others?
Yes, many NATO countries are democracies, but there are many non-NATO countries as well - and Ukraine can certainly stack its democratic credentials against Hungary, Turkey and probably several other NATO members.
And if we think of NATO as a kind of insurance that can not be taken out in the middle of a crisis, Ukraine has been trying for years to join. Ukraine has certainly shown far more interest in NATO than several other countries recently mentioned. If excluding a country from NATO means exposing them to massive war crimes from a powerful tyranny, we need far better reasons to exclude Ukraine than has been stated.
New evidence of how the civilian population is being massacred and suffering makes it all the more important to liberate Russian-controlled areas. The assumed red lines are not as clear as is sometimes suggested. NATO has really fired at Russian troops: they fought - and hit hard - in Syria. We have several similar incidents - there and elsewhere - probably happened and were kept out of the headlines. We took these risks for far less convincing reasons.
We support the proposal that Norway should contribute one billion kroner in weapons aid to Ukraine fromnorwegian Liberal Party leader Guri Melby, and refer to the accusations of war crimes committed by Russian forces. And we want to add that then Ukraine is free to buy the weapons they may need, also from Norway.
Yet, countries that will only stand up for humanity's core principles when there is absolutely no risk in doing so are not much of a "great power."
And there is certainly no one who has the right to say "never again."