On 18 March, President Putin announced in a speech to the Russian parliament that Russia was annexing Crimea.
“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be fully respected. Norway will continue to view Crimea as part of Ukraine,” Mr Brende said.
The international community has sent a clear signal to Russia that the country’s actions in Ukraine are unacceptable and will have consequences. President Putin’s speech represents a serious setback for security and stability in Europe.
“The Government considers it deeply regrettable that the Russian authorities have chosen to disregard the clear signals from the international community. Russia has a responsibility to comply with its international obligations and work towards a political solution,” said Mr Brende.
The recent vote in the UN Security Council revealed the extent of Russia’s isolation. Russia now stands alone in the face of clear international condemnation. The restrictive measures recently announced by the EU and the US were a further example of this.
“It is vital that Norway is now clear and unambiguous in its response. Norway stands together with its allies and partners in NATO and the EU. Norway supports the restrictive measures imposed by the EU on a number of specified individuals from Russia and Crimea,” said Mr Brende.