Despite the security crisis sparked by Russia’s war on Ukraine, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will stay on for another year.
Stoltenberg published a tweet Thursday in which he said he was “honored” by the decision of NATO leaders to extend his term as secretary general until Sept. 30, 2023.
He said the alliance stands united as we face the biggest security crisis in decades. The former Norwegian prime minister was selected to NATO’s top civilian post in October 2014. This is the second time he has served in that role. The expiry date of his mandate was due in september.
Stoltenberg was named head of Norway’s central bank by the Norwegian government in February and is expected to start in his new role as early as Dec. 1.
Ida Wolden Bache was nominated to replace Stoltenberg and her appointment is expected to be confirmed later Thursday in Oslo. Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum confirmed Stoltenberg had resigned from the position.
The next governor of our central bank should be Jens Stoltenberg, of course, but we are currently in a period of intense political turmoil in Europe, and I fully understand his priority of maintaining his role as NATO chief, Slagsvold Vedum said.
Stoltenberg has called the Russian war against Ukraine the worst security situation in decades.
Under the Trump administration, Stoltenberg led NATO through a challenging and divisive period when the U.S. hampered NATO’s support of a number of member countries that weren’t spending enough on defense.
Jake Sullivan, U.S. National Security Advisor, told reporters aboard an Air Force One flight to Brussels on Wednesday that Secretary-General Stoltenberg is highly valued by President Joe Biden.
The relationship between them has evolved into one of trust, Sullivan said. “Secretary-General Stoltenberg has played a crucial part in finding the strong unity we’ve witnessed at NATO throughout this crisis.”
He served as finance minister, industry and energy minister, and as prime minister twice in Norway – from 2005 to 2013 and 2002 to 2014 – and as a minister of state for the environment.