PRIME MINISTER STØRE: Secretary Blinken, I welcome you to Oslo. You are here at an important informal NATO meeting, but informal can be even more important than formal because it is about critical issues: how we will support Ukraine being attacked in a brutal aggression, which is really the most serious security policy situation we have dealt with in recent years and in modern times. And we’ve had the opportunity to exchange views on this and to underline again how closely Norway and the United States are working on this, how important this relationship is to Norway’s security. We had the USS Gerald Ford here recently, underlining the defense cooperation. But this is about the political cooperation, and Secretary, I appreciate you coming, spending time in Sweden, Norway, and Finland. And for the Nordic region as a whole and for Norway, that is of great importance.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Prime Minister, thank you. I’m, first, grateful for the prime minister’s – not only his hospitality, but for the very good exchange that we just had. We’re grateful. We’re grateful to have Norway as such a strong friend, partner, and ally, particularly at a time when there are so many challenges not only in the European area but around the globe. And the fact that we are such close partners in working together, of course, in support of Ukraine and against the Russian aggression – but also quite literally around the world in working to advance food security, energy security, climate security, and dealing with the many challenges that countries around the world are facing, that’s more meaningful than ever.
We are partners in trying to find peace in areas of conflict. That remains vitally important. And again, here in Europe, the solidarity that you have shown with other European partners in defense of Ukraine and against the Russian aggression I think has been absolutely remarkable. The role that Norway has played, its own generosity and support of Ukraine, the work that Norway has led on to provide for greater energy security in Europe and to help move Europe away from long-term dependencies on Russia – that has been very, very powerful. I think that’s come further than anyone would have anticipated a couple of years ago.
And we’re grateful as well to you for hosting the foreign ministers here. We’re working together to prepare a very good Vilnius Summit that the prime minister will be at. But mostly, this was an opportunity to compare notes and to say thank you. Thank you for a partnership that for us is quite simply invaluable. Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER STØRE: Thank you.