Norway’s foreign ministry is reallocating some of its resources to address critical security challenges in its own backyard, Europe. After expanding diplomatic staff in countries bordering on Russia, including Romania, Lithuania and not least Ukraine, Norway now aims to open its first diplomatic mission in Moldova.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine threatens the security of all of Europe,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide when announcing the opening of what he calls an “embassy office” in Moldova’s capital, Chișinău. Eide added that there “is nothing to suggest that the war will be over soon,” and that both Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova “will need our help for years to come.”
Norway has already contributed hundreds of millions of kroner to support Moldova’s efforts to help the “huge number” of Ukrainian refugees it has taken in, bolster its economy and implement democratic reforms as it also seeks closer cooperation with the rest of Europe. Some of the funds already sent to Moldova have also been used to help pay salaries for public sector employees in Moldova and help the country boost gas supplies for the winter.
“The establishment of an embassy office sends a clear signal of our support at this critical time for Moldova and Europe,” Eide said as the Norwegian government also announced even more military and economic support for Ukraine. After invading Ukraine, Russia has increasingly been viewed as a threat to other neighbouring countries, especially those that broke out of the former Soviet Union.