Norway joins EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine
OSLO, Norway – Norway followed the European Union by imposing sanctions against Russia on Friday, August 15, raising the stakes in a conflict that has already thrown the Nordic country's fish-farming sector into turmoil.
"The situation in eastern Ukraine is getting worse every day. It is vital that the international community stands united in its response to Russia's actions," Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said in a statement.
Norway – which is not a member of the EU but is part of the European Economic Area free trade zone – on July 30 announced it would join EU sanctions pending parliamentary approval.
That came a day after the EU decided on a new range of sanctions against Moscow, restricting Russia's access to EU financial markets and to sales of arms and technology destined for the energy sector.
"Russia... has contributed to an escalation of the conflict by actively supporting the pro-Russian rebels," said Brende.
Moscow has banned most agricultural and food imports from Europe in retaliation, including shutting out Norway's salmon farmers from their top export market.
Last year the country exported 295,000 tons of fish – worth 6.5 billion kroner ($1 billion) – to Russia, 81% of which was salmon and trout. – Rappler.com