– I understand that this is an unusual sight. But it is a reminder of preserving our peace and our security, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) on board the USS “Gerald R. Ford”.
On Friday evening, he took part in the ceremonial reception on the aircraft carrier. Støre is clear that he welcomes the Americans.
– The US is one of our foremost allies and it shows that they prioritize Norway and are concerned with what concerns the northern areas, he tells TV2 after the reception.
– Sends a signal
Støre believes that having the over 300 meter long aircraft carrier in the Oslofjord says a lot about Norwegian-American cooperation.
– It sends a signal about the strong bond between the USA and Norway. It is a continuation of a historic collaboration that goes back many decades.
It has already caused reactions that the world’s largest warship has its first stop in Oslo. During his address to the guests at the reception, he called the USS Gerald R Ford “a ship of peace”.
– We do not threaten anyone, but we must take care of our safety and this is an important guarantee for us, Støre tells TV2 after the speech.
Going to Northern Norway
Before the weekend, VG reported that the ship’s next port of call will be in northern Norway. This means that the ship will approach the Russian border even more. Støre does not think this should create significant reactions from Russia.
– When we practice from Norway’s side, it is predictable and recognisable. There are no surprises here and I think all neighbors will see that, says Støre and adds:
– We train in our waters in a way that is not aimed at anyone. There is no reason for anyone to react with any uncertainty because of that.
Silent as a fighter jet
Several NATO countries are now discussing sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. This week, Norway agreed to assist with the training of these aircraft for Ukrainian soldiers. But when asked whether Norway should send such planes itself, Støre is more evasive.
– What we will be discussing is how we can train Ukrainian soldiers to man and fly such aircraft. No decision has been taken on the question of donation yet, we have not yet arrived, he says.