As expected, the Norwegian government has decided to adopt the tougher sanctions against Russia that were imposed by the EU and the US from August 1. Opposition parties in the Norwegian Parliament are also poised to support the government.
The sanctions were discussed at an expanded meeting of the Parliament’s foreign relations- and defense committee on Monday, at which leaders of parties represented in Parliament were also present.
Foreign Minister Børge Brende of the Conservatives had already indicated that Norway should adopt the sanctions, which mostly affect banking, finance and weapons trade with Russia, and Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre told NRK Monday night that he agreed.
That gives the government a solid majority in Parliament. Meanwhile, Russia has already imposed sanctions of its own against Norway, the EU, the US, Canada and Australia that researchers say are likely to hit Norway the hardest.
As of last week, Russia stopped importing a wide variety of food products from the targeted countries, which can mean the loss of NOK 6.8 billion worth of lost salmon and other seafood revenues for Norway. That’s more than the expected losses of agricultural revenues for Poland, the US, Spain and all the other countries on the Russians’ boycott list.
Norway’s seafood industry is already taking steps, however, to target new markets in an effort to replace the lost Russian business. Industry officials now believe they have strong prospects for dramatically boosting sales to the US and the EU, and are armed with millions of new funds for marketing and promotion efforts.