Thorvald Stoltenberg, who five years ago presented a report about Nordic Defence challenges, spoke about security cooperation to the Members of Parliaments at the Nordic Council Session in Stockholm on Thursday.
“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,” Thorvald Stoltenberg said according to the portal Norden.org
He believes it is not possible to create security in Europe without Russia.
“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,” Stoltenberg argues.
Thorvald Stoltenberg was the one initiating the Barents cooperation back in 1992 when he was Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Together with Russia’s first Post-Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Kozyrev, Stoltenberg designed the so-called Kirkenes declaration signed by Norway, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the European Commission on January 11th 1993.
Since 1993, Thorvald Stoltenberg has been named the father of the Barents Region. In real family life, Thorvald is the father of NATO’s current Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Thorvald Stoltenberg’s suggestion to establish a joint Nordic defence and security commission comes a day after the Nordic countries have seen the largest Russian military aircraft activity in decades close to Nordic airspace.
On Wednesday, fighter jets from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland all took to the skies to intercept what NATO claims “represented an unusual level of Russian air activity over European airspace.”