Posts Tagged ‘US’

To manage Putinism, look to Norway

April 1, 2014

Thomas A. Loftus (Ambassador to Norway, 1993-1997)

Cross-posted from Ambassador Loftus’ March 31, 2014 op-ed in the Cap Times.


Norwegians grow up with skis on their feet and Russians on their northern border. The choice of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to head NATO puts a young man with a long and successful political resume in charge of what now has become an alliance faced with managing relations with Russia after the annexation of Crimea. This is a Russia with a saber-rattling bent and a mercurial leader.

It is not a new Cold War, let us hope, but certainly a frosty turn of events. Norway’s adept handling of relations with their Russian neighbors since the end of the Soviet Union gives the West some guidelines but knowing that history is only useful if understood in the context of two new realities.