Jens Stoltenberg (born 16 March 1959) is a Norwegian politician who serves as the 13th secretary general of NATO since 2014. He was the Prime Minister of Norway from 17 March 2000 – 19 October 2001 and from 17 October 2005 – 16 October 2013. He is a former leader of the Norwegian Labour Party and a member of the Norwegian parliament as one of the representatives for the Oslo constituency.
Ideologically, he was a moderate social democrat inspired by Tony Blair. As Prime Minister, he is known for privatizing many Norwegian industries, encouraging international cooperation against the Great Recession, promoting environmentalist policies, and responding to the 2011 Norway attacks. As Secretary-General, he helped expand and increase funding for the alliance in response to the Russo-Ukrainian War.
- We have a high standard of living. … In Norway, we've tripled our income since 1970. In the rest of western Europe, income has merely doubled.
- Interview in Torgrim Eggen (2001), as quoted in "At the Top: An interview with Jens Stoltenberg", Scanorama.
- But the answer to the attacks must be more democracy and more openness. Otherwise, those who were behind them will have achieved their goals.
- Reconquer the streets, the markets – the public spaces, with the same message of opposition: We are devastated, but we will not give up. With torches and roses, we deliver this message to the world: We do not let fear break us. And we do not let the fear of fear silence us.
- City Hall Square speech (25 July 2011), as quoted in the Aftenposten
- Evil can kill a person, but never conquer a nation.
- City Hall Square speech (25 July 2011), as quoted in the BBC
- Although I am not a member of any denomination, I do believe that there is something greater than man. Some call it God, others call it something else. For me, it's about understanding that we humans are small in relation to nature, in relation to the powers that are bigger and stronger than man can ever comprehend. I find that in a church.
- As quoted in "Man må tro at det nytter" (31 December 2011), by Erik Fossen and Håvard Bjelland, BT (in Norwegian)
- I like the United States in many ways. I like the people, I like the atmosphere. I like to travel around also when I am able to get out of Washington or New York, and I like the food. Especially the meat. The steak is excellent, and I had a very good steak in New York a couple of days ago and you can't get that kind of steak in Europe, so big and so tender, that's one of the reasons I like to come to the United States.
- We have all seen the atrocities that have been committed in Bucha and other places in Ukraine. This reveals the true nature of President Putin's war, and the targeting and killing of civilians is a war crime and therefore, NATO allies are supporting the international efforts to establish all the facts, to investigate, and to make sure that perpetrators are punished. We are now in a critical phase of the war. We see that Russia is moving forces out of the north to reinforce them, to resupply them, to rearm them and then to move them into the east where we are expecting a major offensive. President Putin's aim is to try to control the whole of Donbas and to establish a land bridge [...]. We have seen no indication that President Putin has changed his ambition to control the whole of Ukraine and also to rewrite the international order. So we need to be prepared for the long haul. We need to support Ukraine, sustain our sanctions, and strengthen our defences and our deterrence, because this can last for a long time and we need to be prepared for that.
- "Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs", NATO website (6 April 2022)
- Yes, it is extremely important that we as politicians make sure that our countries provide support to Ukraine – and not only provide support to Ukraine but provide substantial support to Ukraine for a long time. And that will have a price. And partly, the price, the sanctions are important, but also of course, the military support, but also the humanitarian support, economic support, that has a price. But the price of not supporting them is much higher. Partly because, for me, this is a moral issue. This is about a sovereign independent nation with more than 40 million people living in Europe, which is brutally attacked by a big power; Russia. If we don't react to that and after what we have seen what happened in Bucha and other places, it violates my understanding of what is a decent behaviour of neighbours and friends of Ukraine. So, of course, yes, it has a price; but, not to act and just let that brutality continue, and let that brutality of Russia be awarded is, for me, a higher price.
Second, it is in our interest to help Ukraine. Because you have to understand that, if Ukraine loses this, that's a danger for us. That will make Europe even more vulnerable for Russian aggression. Because then the lesson learned from Georgia in 2008, from annexing Crimea in 2014, from starting to undermine Donbas in 2014, and then the full fledged brutal invasion by President Putin in February, is that they can just use force to get their will. It's to re-establish an idea of spheres of influence, where big powers can decide what small neighbours can do. And that will make all of us more vulnerable. So, even if you don't care about the moral aspect of this, supporting the people of Ukraine, you should care about your own security interests. So therefore, you have to pay; pay for the support, pay for the humanitarian aid, pay the consequences of the economic sanctions, because the alternative is to pay a much higher price later on.
And then remember one thing, yes, we pay a price, but the price we pay as the European Union, as NATO, is a price we can measure in currency, in money. The price they [people of Ukraine] pay is measured in lives lost every day. So, we should just stop complaining and step up and provide support. Full stop.
- Jens Stoltenberg: Provide substantial long-term support to Ukraine!, at the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Security and Defence Committees (18 July 2022), as reproduced on the EPP Group's YouTube channel
- NATO is part of the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group to mobilize support, and I actively engage with leaders to urge them to provide more weapons, and more ammunition, more quickly.
- Winter is coming, and it will be hard. What we see now is a grinding war of attrition. This is a battle of wills and a battle of logistics. Therefore, we must sustain our support for Ukraine for the long term, so that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation.
- Eight years ago, Russia illegally annexed Crimea, transforming it into one of the most militarized areas in Europe and using it as a launchpad for a full scale invasion of Ukraine six months ago.
- President Putin thought he could crush the Ukrainian people and armed forces. He thought he could divide our democratic nations and he thought he could dictate what others do. President Putin was wrong.
- "NATO Chief Urges More Weapons for Ukraine—'Winter Is Coming'", Newsweek (23 August 2022)
- NATO Allies have provided training to Ukrainian forces since 2014.
- Doorstep statement, NATO website (15 November 2022)
- From today, 31 flags will fly together — A symbol of our unity and our solidarity.
Joining NATO is good for Finland. It is good for Nordic security. And it is good for NATO as a whole.
Finland brings substantial and highly capable forces, expertise in national resilience,
and years of experience working side by side with NATO Allies.
I am deeply proud to welcome Finland as a full-fledged member of our Alliance. And I look forward to also welcoming Sweden as soon as possible.
At times like these, friends and Allies are more important than ever. And Finland now has the strongest friends and Allies in the world.
- "Press Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, NATO website (4 April 2023) · Video on YouTube
- President Putin wanted to slam NATO’s door shut. Today, we show the world that he failed. That aggression and intimidation do not work. Instead of less NATO, he has achieved the opposite. More NATO. And our door remains firmly open.
- "Press Statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö", NATO website (4 April 2023) · Video on YouTube