Norway to give Ukraine $93 million to boost air defences, PM says

Norway's Prime Minister Stoere attends a joint news briefing with Ukraine's President Zelenskiy in Kyiv

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Norway will give 1 billion crowns ($92.69 million) to boost Ukraine's air defences, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Thursday at a NATO summit where alliance members have promised more aid to Kyiv as it fights Russian invaders.

The announcement came a day after Norway said it would give Ukraine six F-16 fighter jets. "The Ukrainians need more air defence to protect their population from Russian bombs and missiles," Stoere said in a statement.

"The brutal attacks we have seen this past week show why it is so vital for the Ukrainians to have greater protection from Russian air attacks," he added.

Scores of people died when a missile hit the main children's hospital in Kyiv and air strikes hit other cities across Ukraine on Monday.

Ukraine blamed Russia and a U.N. rights mission said on Tuesday there was a "high likelihood" a Russian missile hit the hospital. The Kremlin has denied involvement.

Norway will, with Germany, donate a complete IRIS-T air defence battery to Ukraine this autumn, Stoere said.

Norway's government said its 1 billion crowns will go to Germany's Immediate Action for Air Defence initiative, launched this year after Berlin asked the EU, NATO and other countries to help bolster Ukraine's air defences as quickly as possible.

In total, Norway had set aside 4 billion crowns to fund air defence measures for Ukraine through 2024, Oslo added.

($1 = 10.7881 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Louise Breusch Rasmussen; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Andrew Heavens)