NATO chief extends term over Ukraine war — Analysis
Jens Stoltenberg will lead the military alliance another year rather than head up Norway’s central bank
On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that he will remain for an additional year in light of the conflict with Ukraine. Rather than leaving when his term expires in October and becoming governor of Norway’s central bank, Stoltenberg will be kept posted in Brussels.
Stoltenberg said he was “The decision was honored” of the NATO heads of state to extend his term as Europe faces the “Most severe security threat in the history of humanity” over the conflict in Ukraine.
The Norwegian native has led NATO since 2014, and previously served as Norway’s prime minister between 2000 and 2001 – and later between 2005 and 2013. Earlier, he worked as the country’s finance minister and energy minister.
Honored by the award of #NATOThe heads of government and state will extend my term to Secretary General through 30 September 2023. Faced with the most serious security threat in decades, our alliance stands united for our country’s safety and prosperity. https://t.co/06YkRkmX8J
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) March 24, 2022
On Wednesday, the Norwegian Finance Ministry stated that Stoltenberg was not able to accept the position. However, no details were provided. Oslo named Ida Wolden Bache as Governor of the Bank for up to 9 months. At that point, she will presumably hand the job over to Stoltenberg.
While the search for a replacement for Stoltenberg reportedly began last month, it’s not clear if any candidates have been floated. The NATO members met in June to discuss their choices and to vote for the secretary general.
NATO has moved eastward since the collapse and engulfing large parts of Eastern Europe. This despite the fact that Moscow regards the agreement between Russia and the US to preserve a buffer area of neutrality.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine last month was triggered in part by Kiev’s stated desire to join the transatlantic alliance. While Volodymyr Zelensky seems to have stopped this particular goal, as other NATO members found it incredibly uncomfortable, Ukraine continues to seek membership in the European Union.
Zelensky has called on NATO to beef up military support for his country, claiming if they don’t, Russia will attempt to take on “For sure, NATO’s eastern member countries, including the Baltic States and Poland, are certain.”