January 28, 2023

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Kirsty Bergstow has changed her mind about arms support for Ukraine

SV’s sole leadership candidate makes it clear that his stand on arms will remain firm even if he becomes the leader.

For now, the way is clear for Kirsty Bergstow to take over as SV’s new leader this spring.

Under a gray sky at Tøyen Torg, members of the Red-Green national team gathered to hear their leader speak. There were not many such meetings before Audun Lisbakken stepped down as chairman.

Kirsti Bergstø is ready to take over. He is the party’s chief candidate. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, SV had to take on many gruesome debates.

Norwegian arms support to Ukraine was one of the first points of difficulty. Berksto voted twice in the National Board against sending arms to Ukraine.

Now she has changed her mind.

– I stand behind the position we have and the decision we made, she tells Aftenposten.

– You voted against sending Norwegian arms. Would you vote differently today?

– Now if there is a new proposition about it, i.e. if I say that I stood behind SV’s decision, it is because I did it.

The National Board meeting this weekend at S.V. Here they will, among other things, adopt a new defense policy statement.

– is dashed

Bergstow says it was a tough question when they had to decide.

– This is completely new. Norway had never done it before. It is very easy to look back now at what was right then.

He believes many of the various votes were characterized by skepticism.

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– I think many doubted themselves until the first time, and many doubted themselves until the second yes.

– But now are you confident in what you did in the end?

– I do not support anything other than what the party accepts. I stood behind it.

– If you eventually become a manager, will that be an area you’d like to see more of or do you think the line has been drawn now?

– has been lined up. We also want to work for broader work related to humanitarian efforts.

Many questions about SV’s future will present themselves as a new person fills the shoes as leader.

– It is not appropriate to propose the withdrawal of Norway from NATO

SV was founded on opposition to NATO and US nuclear weapons. This has been the case for over 60 years.

SV’s program for this parliamentary term states that the party will withdraw Norway from NATO.

However, in the past year, SV has had to examine its views on this principle.

One reason is that Sweden and Finland have submitted applications for membership in NATO. This means that the party’s dream of a Nordic defense alliance has collapsed.

Last fall, the news came in a proposal for a new program of policies No more stopping The party should work to withdraw Norway from NATO. This will be discussed at the national meeting in March.

Kirsty Bergstow has long been a staunch critic of NATO. But he believes Norway should remain in the security alliance.

– There is one point among many that Norway should be withdrawn from NATO. But Bergstow says SV doesn’t propose that.

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– But where did you stand here?

– I never took the initiative to propose it. SV didn’t do that as far as I remember – actually took the initiative to withdraw Norway from NATO.

He says it would be better for the party to structure a debate and strategy on security policy according to how they actually act and think.

– Also, what is in our work program and what we stand for is something you should propose or implement in the coming parliamentary term as a goal. And proposing to withdraw Norway from NATO is unacceptable.

He wishes SV was not alone in criticizing foreign operations.

– We want to bring players home and instead focus on missions in our own country. I wish we were not alone in the fight against nuclear weapons.

And he wants more people on the team in favor of a more independent foreign and defense policy, independent of the great powers and bloc politics.

– These are the central questions of today.