Substantial military aid needed: Norwegian secret service: Russia gains the upper hand

Substantial military aid needed
Norwegian intelligence: Russia gains the upper hand

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Norwegian secret services warn of a shift in the balance of power in the Ukraine conflict. While US aid to Kiev stalls, Russia is strengthening its military presence with support from North Korea and China.

According to Norwegian intelligence, Russia is gaining the military upper hand in Ukraine thanks to a larger troop reserve and material support from countries such as North Korea and China. Kiev will need “substantial” Western military assistance to have any hope of reversing the situation, military intelligence chief Nils Andreas Stensönes said at the presentation of the Norwegian security services’ annual risk assessment report.

“In this war, Russia is currently in a stronger position than a year ago and is gaining an advantage,” Stensönes said. Moscow can “mobilize about three times as many troops” as Ukraine, he emphasized. Russia is adapting to sanctions “better than expected” and the industry is capable of producing enough “munitions, combat vehicles, drones and missiles” to “sustain the war effort throughout the year.”

According to Stensönes, Russia receives military support from Iran, Belarus and North Korea. According to his findings, China does not supply weapons, but “machines, vehicles, electronics and spare parts” that are useful for the Russian defense industry. Western arms deliveries are necessary so that the Ukrainian armed forces can defend themselves and regain the initiative in the conflict.

Along with Denmark and the Netherlands, Norway is a European country that wants to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets. Norwegian Defense Minister Björn Arild Gram said Norway and Europe must “be prepared to take on greater responsibility to ensure their own security and that of their allies.”

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine almost two years ago, the USA has been Kiev’s biggest supporter. However, a bill for additional billions in aid is currently stuck in the US Congress. A possible success of former President Donald Trump in the presidential election in November could also lead to a shift of responsibility for Ukraine aid to Europe.

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