Norwegian to take over NATO in midst of Russian crisis
BRUSSELS — NATO chose former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as its next leader on Friday at a time when the Western military alliance must deal with a resurgent Russia since its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.
Stoltenberg will take over as secretary-general of the 28-nation alliance on Oct. 1, succeeding former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has led NATO since 2009.
Stoltenberg, the first Norwegian to occupy NATO's top post, will take over at a time when NATO, viewed by some as a Cold War relic, has gained new relevance because of concerns about what the Ukraine crisis says about a newly assertive Russia.
Stoltenberg, 55, said the Ukraine crisis “reminds us just how important NATO is. The idea of collective defense has become more important given how Russia is using force to change borders in Europe. Russia must see that what they've done carries a price,” he said at a news conference in Oslo.
However, he said the Ukraine crisis would not turn the clock back to the Cold War. “The current situation is not that bad,” he said.
Daniel Keohane, a defense expert at the FRIDE think tank, said Norway is considered a very serious defense player.
“(It) has always taken the challenge of Russia very, very seriously. I think there is a little bit of a signal there,” he said.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.