Norway follows Denmark with plans to conscript thousands more soldiers

Norwegian soldiers march during a military parade ceremony.
Norwegian soldiers march during a military parade ceremony. Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP
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Russia's attack on Ukraine has given northern European countries an impetus to beef up their militaries.

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Norway is to increase the number of conscripted soldiers from 9,000 to 13,500, the Norwegian government announced on Tuesday.

"We must have enough people with the right skills at the right time," Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said. "We will need more people with professional military expertise going forward."

The country's armed forces will see a gradual increase in the number of conscripts for initial service each year, Arild Gram said, adding that several billion kroner – well over €100 million – will be invested in the Norwegian Armed Forces' facility at Terningmoen, north of Oslo. Here the NATO member state will gather and prepare new recruits.

The minister did not specify precisely how much Norway, one of the richest countries in the world, intends to spend.

Norwegian news agency NTB said the aim was to reach 13,500 conscripts by 2036.

The move by the Scandinavian NATO member comes after neighbouring Denmark last month said it wants to increase the number of young people doing military service.

Copenhagen intends to extend conscription to women and increase the time of service from four months to 11 months.

The Danish government wants to increase the number of conscripts by 300 to reach a total of 5,000.

The country recently announced it is sending its entire stock of artillery to Ukraine, which is struggling to fend off Russia as supplies from the US in particular start to dwindle.

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