Oslo ups defence spending to 2 % of GDP

Jonas Gahr Støre in February 2024 visited the Jaeger Battalion GSV outside Kirkenes. (Photo: Atle Staalesen)

“The situation out there and the needs here at home makes it necessary to now strengthen our Armed Forces,” says PM Jonas Gahr Støre. The country’s defence spending will reach 2 % of GDP in 2024, two years ahead of the original schedule.

“We have to live with a more dangerous and unpredictable Russia, probably for a long time,” Støre said after a meeting with leaders of the political parties in the Storting.

“Many countries around us invest in bigger and stronger defence forces. So do we. We will take responsibility for our own security and contribute to European security,” the prime minister underlined.

The statements were made as the Norwegian government is laying a last hand on a new long-term plan for the defence sector. The plan is due to be presented to the Storting on the 5th of April.

The urgency was in the essence as PM Støre, Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum and Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram today summoned leaders of all the parties represented in Parliament.

The prime minister calls for consensus across the parties’ lines for the new plan.

Already this year, defence spending is due to reach 2 % of GDP. Originally, the plan was to reach the 2 % limit only in 2026.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Northern premiers say Canada can’t have Arctic security without infrastructure, The Canadian Press

China: Satellite imagery reveals construction progress on new Chinese Antarctic base, Eye on the Arctic

Denmark: Danish policy prioritizes low-conflict Arctic amidst Russian tensions, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland: Icelandic embassy suspends operations in Moscow, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Svalbard’s travails in a changing Arctic, Blog by Marc Lanteigne

Sweden: US bombers land in northern Sweden for first time, Radio Sweden

United States: Biden welcomes Finland to NATO, meets with Nordic leaders, The Associated Press

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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