New NATO Chief Touts Relationship with Russia as He Takes Office

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, October 1, 2014The new NATO Secretary General, Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, emphasized his long and productive relationship with Russia in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, a day after he took office.

“As a Norwegian politician in Norway, a country bordering Russia, I have developed a working relationship with Russia,” he said. “And we were able also during the coldest period of the Cold War to work with Russia on issues like fishery, energy, environment. . . .

“He also has a complicated past with NATO, having at one point in his life opposed Norway’s membership in the military alliance.

“I think that all people develop,” he said. “And I think that’s a good thing.”

“The Labour Party was strongly in favor of NATO membership. But the Young Labour Party disagreed. But when I was the chairman, I was able to convince the Young Labour Party to be in favor.”

“So I think you can hardly find any other Norwegian politician who [has] fought so hard for being in favor of NATO as I did when I turned my organization from being against to be in favor.”

Image: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, October 1, 2014 (photo: NATO)