Norway prepares for up to 100,000 Ukraine refugees, PM says

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OSLO, March 18 (Reuters) – Norway believes the country will receive around 30,000 Ukrainian refugees this year but is preparing for a situation in which up to 100,000 may arrive as more people flee the Russian invasion, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told parliament on Friday.

If arrivals in Norway were to approach the highest of those forecasts, the nation of 5.4 million people would have to house refugees in sports arenas, warehouses and even tents, he added.

“That’s not the most probable outcome but we must have plans and be prepared because it could happen,” Stoere said.

Refugees who arrived from different places of country react as the Ukrainian Red Cross Society activists help them to evacuate to Moldova at the South Ukrainian city of Odessa. EPA-EFE/STEPAN FRANKO

Some 3.2 million people have fled Ukraine in the last three weeks, almost all to Poland and other neighbouring countries, United Nations data shows.

Around 2,000 refugees have so far arrived in Norway and the government on Thursday said it will soon receive an additional 5,250 people, including 2,500 who have fled to Moldova and 550 people in need of medical care.

Norway, which shares a border with Russia, plans to boost spending this year on defence and security by 3.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($398 million) due to the Ukraine war, Stoere said.

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