Norway will invite Ukraine instead of Russia to the 80th anniversary of the region's liberation from the Nazis
The authorities of the Norwegian Finnmark region have decided not to invite representatives from Russia to the 80th-anniversary commemoration of the liberation of the eastern part of the region from Nazi occupation in 2024. Instead, they will send an invitation to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
As explained by the newly-elected Mayor of Finnmark, Hans-Jacob Bønø, Finnmark can no longer invite Russian representatives due to "what Russia has done to a neighboring country." This decision is directly related to Russia's actions.
He stated, "On behalf of the regional parliament of Finnmark, I will soon invite President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to the 80th-anniversary commemoration of the liberation of Eastern Finnmark. In this way, we will show our gratitude to the Ukrainian soldiers who shed blood for the liberation of Eastern Finnmark, their descendants, and their homeland – Ukraine."
The Head of Finnmark reminded that the first unit of Soviet troops that arrived in the region in October 1944 to liberate it from the Nazis was led by an individual from Ukraine.
"Today we stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine in their struggle for what we have: our own country where people decide their own future. This is important to us. Not long ago, we ourselves were under the rule of a foreign state," added Bønø.
As VG reports, on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Eastern Finnmark and its return to Norway in 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited the region.