On Wednesday, the presidents of Germany and Norway unveiled a plan to strengthen NATO defense of its maritime infrastructure.
At a press conference in Berlin with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Store, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz remarked, “We take the safety of our infrastructure very seriously and that no one can imagine that attacks would remain without consequence.”
The proposal to NATO aims to examine how to broaden current operations and how the alliance may play a coordinating role.
More discussions will take place on Thursday, which NATO welcomes.
Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, attended the meeting in Berlin and will speak with Scholz once again on Thursday. Stoltenberg expressed his support for the initiative in a message sent via email to the Reuters news agency.
After the recent disruption of the Nord Stream pipelines, “we stepped up our efforts, and it is crucial to do even more to ensure that our offshore infrastructure remains safe from future harmful activities,” he stated. The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipes was carried out, and Russia has attempted to place the blame on Britain, which has denied any involvement.
Scholz: Russia can’t dominate Ukraine militarily.
At the Berlin Security Conference, Scholz and Store both denounced Russia’s actions towards Ukraine.
“I’m confident that Russia will not be able to win this war on the battlefield in the near future. The ruthless attacks on vital infrastructure, water and energy pipelines, cities, and towns are a terrible and simultaneously hopeless form of scorched earth warfare “stated Scholz.
Scholz switched to English for the remaining part of the sentence, saying, “Russia must understand, we will back Ukraine for as long as it takes.” “With money, with economics, with humanitarian aid, right now with repairing the shattered energy infrastructure, and also with weaponry.”
Store stated that Russia was “losing the ground fight and… striking back by intimidating from the air” as defense analysts and reporters gathered in the German city. In that situation, Ukraine needs our assistance.
He insisted that the war must end but that only one party truly have the ability to make this happen.
And since we cannot allow that to happen, this problem is not just crucial for Ukraine but also for every free country in Europe, according to Store. And Norway is aware of this, so together with Germany, we will meet this challenge.
As a NATO deterrent, Germany plans to purchase nuclear-capable F-35 aircraft.
Both leaders made passing mention of the conflict’s significant effects on defense spending and policy.
Scholz predicted that a significant increase in German defense budget will contribute to this.
Berlin would not be scared by Moscow’s “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric,” he claimed, even though Berlin takes it “extremely seriously.”
According to him, Germany’s response was to adhere to the golden rule of never letting a nuclear war break out.
Scholz’s contentious trip
During Scholz’s contentious trip to Beijing at the beginning of the month, he stated he was glad that Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed on this premise. He also applauded the recent G20 summit’s declaration for making a reference to this pledge to never start a nuclear war.
“NATO obviously needs a credible deterrence potential as long as countries like Russia have nuclear weapons as part of their arsenal of threats. Anything else would make us vulnerable to extortion,” stated Scholz.
“As a result, we have decided to purchase F-35 fighter fighters in the upcoming years and keep Germany’s commitment to the Alliance’s nuclear capabilities going forward. That is a warning for global, transatlantic, and national security.
For successive German administrations, and especially Scholz’s coalition, buying the new nuclear-capable F-35s—which German pilots could fly with US nuclear weapons stationed in Germany in the event of a nuclear conflict—has been a touchy subject.
Despite not having nuclear weapons, some claim that Germany is in fact a nuclear power due to its ability to deliver US warheads. The Green Party in particular, as well as some of Scholz’s Social Democrats, have historically had mixed feelings about or even been opposed to the concept of so-called nuclear sharing.
Norway is going to provide more aid to Ukraine and wider energy relief
During his visit to Berlin, Store, the prime minister of Norway, stated that the coalition government in Oslo would be unveiling a sizable package of longer-term financial assistance for Ukraine as part of its 2023 budget.
He also hinted that the main exporter of fossil fuels was looking into methods to assist European nations with fewer natural resources deal with the rising prices brought on, in no small part, by Russia’s incursion.
The fact that Norway is currently in the advantageous position of being an energy exporter provides us an extra motivation to take the lead in how we help Ukraine get through not just this first year but the ensuing four or five years, according to Store. In addition, there will be a component of support for nations outside of Ukraine who are currently being impacted by rising food and energy prices in the package we will offer to parliament.
The visiting prime minister spoke with DW earlier on Wednesday on this subject and said it was “quite fair” to wish for reduced energy prices. He added, “I can tell you it is not in Norway’s interest that you have high and variable energy prices in Europe.”
Store also informed the Berlin audience that Norway had surpassed Russia as Germany’s only gas supplier since the war started as a result of a decrease in Russian gas shipments.