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EU tightens energy partnership with Norway, NATO

The EU seeks a tightening of its energy partnership with Norway and with NATO, as regards boosted gas deliveries and the protection of critical infrastructure. Top officials representing these matters met on Friday at a natural gas production platform near the Norwegian coast.

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg commented on the NATO accession process of Sweden and Finland. “It is absolutely crucial that both countries join the Alliance as soon as possible,” he said.

The NATO chief also commented on Europe’s Energy Security in the face of the Russian war and the Kremlin’s aggressive policies. “We see President Putin trying to use energy as a weapon throughout the war with Ukraine. Norwegian gas has helped respond to this and ensure that Putin has not succeeded in using energy as a weapon,” he said.

After Russia stopped deliveries of gas to the European Union last year, Norway became the largest supplier of the EU.

“Norway helped us at a critical time, which enabled us to survive the winter. We welcomed the announcement that these supplies will remain high,” said the EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

Great visit with @vonderleyen & @jonasgahrstore to Troll A platform off the coast of #Norway, critical to reducing Europe’s dependency on Russian gas. #NATO is stepping up to protect critical infrastructure & working with the EU to boost resilience.

— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) March 17, 2023

She also reported on the necessity of protecting critical infrastructure in Europe, and to protect it from acts of sabotage. In this regard, the European Union and NATO have strengthened their cooperation.

The Alliance’s secretary-general said it includes the sharing of intelligence, closer monitoring of infrastructure, and increasing military presence.

“The plan now is to conduct more joint exercises so that we can act quickly if something happens,” Jens Stoltenberg added.

He noted that “Norway’s infrastructure is important, but because of its size, it is vulnerable.

“We can’t constantly defend every meter of it, but we are working on intelligence sharing, monitoring gas pipelines. We have also increased our military presence,” he assured.

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