Thorvald Stoltenberg: Set up a Nordic defence and security commission

30.10.14 | News
Thorvald Stoltenberg
Magnus Fröderberg/
"For me one thing seems obvious: We have a security situation crying out for closer Nordic co-operation on defence and security." These were the opening words of Thorvald Stoltenberg's speech to the Nordic Council MPs at the annual Session in Stockholm. According to Stoltenberg, this cry should be answered by a Nordic defence and security commission.

After today's speech no one is left in doubt about what Thorvald Stoltenberg thinks is the most important thing that the Nordic Region can do in the light of the current security situation:

"A Nordic defence and security commission should be established which can sit down and identify when and how concrete proposals should be followed up. I imagine that every government would appoint a commission member. The commission should work fast and place particular emphasis on concrete Nordic co-operation plans for defence. It must also incorporate the important digital side of Nordic security".

Read his full speech here: Main speech by Thorvald Stoltenberg at the Nordic Council Session 2014

Warning against hostile images of Russia

Five years after the report everyone knows as the "Stoltenberg Report" was presented, Thorvald Stoltenberg notes that there is a rhetoric about Russia appearing that concerns him.

"We cannot fail to notice what I would call an 'offensive Russian demonstration policy', especially in the airspace approaching the Nordic area.  This is not nice. The fierce attention around the submarine search in the Stockholm archipelago did not lighten the atmosphere at all. I note with concern that some individuals are using this difficult situation to revive the rhetoric from the Cold War.  It is a mistake when some people bring up hostile images".

No security without Russia

Thorvald Stoltenberg does not believe we can create security in Europe without Russia nor can we do it against Russia. According to him, the current European situation is quite different from the one we faced during the Cold War.

"At a time when we are finding it necessary to impose EU sanctions, it is important that we protect parts of our bi-lateral co-operation in the north. We have a tradition of dialogue in the Nordic Region which we must continue with the Russians".


About the "Stoltenberg Report"

The report with recommendations for 'Nordic co-operation on foreign and security policy' was submitted to the Nordic foreign ministers at an extraordinary Nordic foreign ministers meeting in Oslo on 9 February 2009. The report, which was commissioned by the ministers, was written by Thorvald Stoltenberg.

"I note with pleasure that several of the 13 recommendations in the report have been implemented, and others are in process. I consider it to be extremely important that the recommendation for a Nordic declaration of solidarity was adopted in 2011.  This laid a political foundation for further work", commented Stoltenberg.