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NATO–Russia relations

NATO secretary general confirms term extension

Author: Editors Desk Source: RT
July 4, 2023 at 07:31
ecretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg ©  Mateusz Wlodarczyk / NurPhoto via Getty Images
ecretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg © Mateusz Wlodarczyk / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jens Stoltenberg, who was due to vacate his post in September, tweeted that he will lead the military bloc until October 1, 2024

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has confirmed that his term, which was due to finish at the end of September, has now been extended until next fall. Earlier, several media outlets reported that member states were likely to support the prolongation of the official’s tenure.

Stoltenberg tweeted on Tuesday that he was “honoured by #NATO Allies’ decision to extend my term as Secretary General until 1 October 2024.” He went on to praise the military bloc’s role in preserving “our freedom & security for nearly 75 years.”

The secretary added that, “in a more dangerous world, our Alliance is more important than ever.”

Stoltenberg was appointed to lead NATO in March 2014. His term has already been extended three times, with his latest announcement marking the fourth such prolongation.

On Monday, Reuters reported, citing four anonymous diplomats, that NATO member states would likely formally approve the decision.

In February, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu claimed that “the secretary general's term comes to an end in October of this year and he has no intention to seek another extension of his mandate.”  

She emphasized that the former Norwegian prime minister had served “for a total of almost nine years” as the head of the military bloc. The spokesperson’s comment came shortly after Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper claimed that NATO member states wanted to extend Stoltenberg’s term again so as to preserve the bloc’s stability amid its confrontation with Russia over Ukraine.

Since the start of Russia’s military campaign against its neighboring country last February, NATO has spearheaded ever-growing weapons shipments to Ukraine.

Explaining the need for military action, Russian President Vladimir Putin cited, among other things, NATO’s eastward expansion and Ukraine’s aspirations of joining the alliance. Moscow has consistently stated that it sees this as a threat to its own national security.

The Kremlin has asserted that the prospect of NATO military bases popping up on Russia’s borders is completely unacceptable.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has made it clear on several occasions over the past few weeks that he expects NATO to offer Kiev a path to membership at the upcoming summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on July 11 and 12.

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