Berliner Boersenzeitung - Stoltenberg to leave NATO after battle to keep US in and Russia out

AED 3.985487
AFN 78.312185
ALL 103.913093
AMD 437.144737
ANG 1.949108
AOA 902.774155
ARS 910.993837
AUD 1.660421
AWG 1.955829
AZN 1.848918
BAM 1.955106
BBD 2.183624
BDT 118.697841
BGN 1.955106
BHD 0.407655
BIF 3090.702256
BMD 1.085065
BND 1.456083
BOB 7.473346
BRL 5.373791
BSD 1.081516
BTN 89.648159
BWP 14.896709
BYN 3.539243
BYR 21267.266374
BZD 2.179926
CAD 1.473681
CDF 3005.629365
CHF 0.959472
CLF 0.037697
CLP 1040.170556
CNY 7.808997
COP 4245.991925
CRC 553.703338
CUC 1.085065
CUP 28.754212
CVE 110.22585
CZK 25.377535
DJF 192.5816
DKK 7.462102
DOP 63.507444
DZD 146.259158
EGP 33.418031
ERN 16.275969
ETB 61.072009
FJD 2.436192
FKP 0.857711
GBP 0.857284
GEL 2.875845
GGP 0.857711
GHS 13.735122
GIP 0.857711
GMD 73.703057
GNF 9294.698745
GTQ 8.447999
GYD 226.259638
HKD 8.494758
HNL 26.707514
HRK 7.628107
HTG 143.389072
HUF 394.551615
IDR 17037.630267
ILS 3.869453
IMP 0.857711
INR 89.893643
IQD 1416.796788
IRR 45618.833048
ISK 149.851563
JEP 0.857711
JMD 168.700082
JOD 0.769354
JPY 162.862816
KES 156.274495
KGS 97.004564
KHR 4398.43778
KMF 493.189035
KPW 976.521822
KRW 1445.201669
KWD 0.333987
KYD 0.90128
KZT 489.16626
LAK 22594.974804
LBP 96847.502077
LKR 333.621506
LRD 208.332783
LSL 20.728827
LTL 3.203914
LVL 0.656345
LYD 5.223145
MAD 10.890632
MDL 19.218174
MGA 4870.270196
MKD 61.608118
MMK 2271.093362
MNT 3680.245147
MOP 8.720403
MRU 43.30534
MUR 49.685519
MVR 16.714054
MWK 1820.653347
MXN 18.463355
MYR 5.149178
MZN 68.905652
NAD 20.728781
NGN 1712.297469
NIO 39.805862
NOK 11.46023
NPR 143.437055
NZD 1.777047
OMR 0.417707
PAB 1.081516
PEN 4.089348
PGK 4.124535
PHP 60.793462
PKR 302.006335
PLN 4.322217
PYG 7906.191909
QAR 3.950449
RON 4.974049
RSD 117.143393
RUB 99.429937
RWF 1397.303711
SAR 4.069268
SBD 9.196949
SCR 14.687383
SDG 652.1242
SEK 11.240993
SGD 1.459199
SHP 1.375591
SLE 24.570401
SLL 21430.026433
SOS 620.118401
SRD 38.405903
STD 22458.646709
SVC 9.462639
SYP 14107.539336
SZL 20.728638
THB 38.703211
TJS 11.842294
TMT 3.808577
TND 3.390868
TOP 2.574804
TRY 34.060074
TTD 7.339393
TWD 34.26016
TZS 2757.820488
UAH 41.27654
UGX 4232.496718
USD 1.085065
UYU 42.334964
UZS 13534.192977
VEF 3914530.874411
VES 39.10036
VND 26752.267982
VUV 130.7623
WST 2.954508
XAF 655.724102
XAG 0.046847
XAU 0.000521
XCD 2.932442
XDR 0.814911
XOF 655.724102
XPF 119.331742
YER 271.704077
ZAR 20.683545
ZMK 9766.88747
ZMW 25.495944
ZWL 349.390362
  • BCC




  • BCE




  • NGG




  • GSK








  • SCS




  • AZN




  • RIO








  • SLAC




  • CMSC




  • RELX




  • JRI




  • VOD




  • CMSD




  • BP




  • BTI




Stoltenberg to leave NATO after battle to keep US in and Russia out
Stoltenberg to leave NATO after battle to keep US in and Russia out

Stoltenberg to leave NATO after battle to keep US in and Russia out

NATO's outgoing leader Jens Stoltenberg will leave the alliance late this year after a diplomatic battle to hold it together against outside threats and the clashing egos of its national leaders.

Text size:

From December, the 62-year-old economist will again wrestle with balance sheets in his new role as head of Norway's central bank, after eight years of high international drama.

Stoltenberg's extended mandate presiding over the alliance has not been an easy period for NATO since he took over in 2014, and independent observers credit the former Norwegian prime minister with holding the alliance together.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has mobilised a huge force to try to force the alliance to drop its open door to eastern and central European members, which during the Cold War had been held in Moscow's orbit.

But -- even as he kept an eye on external threats from Russia and Afghanistan -- Stoltenberg has also had to tread carefully to keep rival leaders within the Atlantic alliance on board.

Former US president Donald Trump, who resented what he saw as European freeloading in an alliance dominated by the big-spending American military, famously declared NATO "obsolete".

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed his allies' protests and bought a Russian air defence system incompatible with Western equipment -- while engaged in a maritime standoff with NATO ally Greece.

And France's Emmanuel Macron, frustrated by resistance to his push for greater European autonomy and sovereignty, snapped that the alliance was experiencing strategic "brain death".

- Didactic style -

Before coming to Brussels, when he served as Norway's prime minister, Stoltenberg was known for having good relations with Putin and Russia's former prime minister Dmitry Medvedev.

During his decade in power, the two countries -- which share a narrow Arctic border -- signed agreements on the their frontier in the Barents Sea and on visa exemptions for their border populations.

An economist by training, the former Labour Party head had never shown any particular fondness for defence or security matters -- but his experience left him with a strong international network.

Before he joined government there was little to suggest he would lead a military alliance.

In Brussels, he is known for his strait-laced appearance and unsmiling didactic style -- but as a long-haired teenager in the 1970s, he threw stones at the US embassy in Oslo in reaction to the Vietnam War.

Born into a political family -- his father was minister of defence and then of foreign affairs, his mother a deputy minister -- the married father-of-two also devoted the majority of his career to politics.

After entering parliament in 1991, he rose rapidly, becoming minister of energy and then of finance, before being named the country's youngest prime minister in 2000, the day after his 41st birthday.

Stoltenberg won international respect with his measured response to Norway's worst peace-time massacre.

When right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people on July 22, 2011, he called for "more democracy" and "more humanity".

When it came time for him to seek the NATO job, he was backed by centrist heavyweights German chancellor Angela Merkel and then US president Barack Obama.

- 'Russians out, Americans in' -

In Brussels, cynical observers often quip that any NATO secretary general's core task is to "Keep the Russians out and the Americans in" -- and for a while that was Stoltenberg's main challenge.

Trump came to the December 2019 NATO summit in Watford, England, ready to break up the alliance that Washington had led since it was formed in 1949.

It was Stoltenberg who talked him down, experts say.

According to Jamie Shea, a former senior NATO official turned think tank expert, Stoltenberg convinced Trump that his demands for Europe to shoulder more of the financial burden were paying off.

"He kept Trump in NATO, which was far from certain. He was one of the few European leaders that Trump was positive about," Shea told AFP, crediting the Norwegian with moving on from an "existential situation".

Stoltenberg also deftly managed the prickly Erdogan, having decided -- in Shea's words -- it was better to "keep the family together even if it meant having to deal with an authoritarian".

Trump's departure lifted one threat, but NATO's next challenge again showed the strains in the trans-Atlantic relationship.

Amid the debacle of the rushed departure of the remaining US and NATO troops from a collapsing Afghanistan last year, European capitals and Stoltenberg's NATO headquarters found themselves left in the dark by American decision-making.

"It is the Afghan affair that dominates the mandate and it cannot be said to be a success," Elie Tenenbaum, an analyst at the French Institute of International Relations.

But this year's crisis, with Putin deploying more than 100,000 troops to Russia's Ukraine border, to occupied Crimea and to Belarus to intimidate Kiev has again given NATO a central role in events.

Moscow clearly wanted to split the allies, disregarding European nations and the European Union to demand direct talks with Washington. But Stoltenberg's NATO ended up marshalling a tough diplomatic response.

NATO members united behind a stern reply to Putin's demands, dismissing calls to block future membership bids.