Norway’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Friday condemning Russia’s widespread attacks on large Ukrainian cities during the night and early morning hours. It also expressed concern over how a Russian missile was believed to have violated airspace over Poland on Friday.
“We have faith that the Polish authorities will handle that wisely,” Eivind Vad Petterson, a state secretary in the foreign ministry, told state broadcaster NRK. “The war Russia is carrying out against Ukraine is brutal and serious enough. It’s in everyone’s interest that it doesn’t spread further into other countries in Europe.”
Jens Stoltenberg, the Norwegian secretary general of NATO, was quick to confirm on social media Friday afternoon that NATO stands firmly behind Poland as one of its valued allies. Stoltenberg’s comment came after a Polish general confirmed that a Russian missile had flown through Polish airspace before heading into Ukraine.
Stoltenberg, who’s been home in Oslo during the Christmas holidays, said he’d already spoken with the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and that NATO was following the situation closely. He said he would remain in close contact with Polish authorities as more facts regarding the incident are established.
The latest Russian attacks, reported to have killed scores of civilians, are widely viewed as retaliatory strikes after Ukraine targeted and sunk one of the most important vessels in Russia’s fleet in the Black Sea earlier this week. Petterson said there’s reason to believe the Russian attacks signal the start of a new major offensive, while some military experts suggest they’ve been ordered by a furious Russian President Vladimir Putin following the loss of the naval vessel.
“They’re among the largest Russia had carried out against Ukraine since its full-scale invasion” nearly two years ago, Petterson said. He stressed that Ukraine’s resistance effort remains strong, and that Norway will continue to support Ukraine.