Jens Stoltenberg was scheduled to step down as NATO Secretary General in autumn 2022 to become head of Norges Bank.
One month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Stoltenberg announced that he is extending his engagement as NATO Secretary General by one year, thus continuing until autumn 2023.
Stoltenberg, who is the second longest-serving NATO chief of all time, enjoys both a high reputation and a lucrative tax-free salary in the top international position. The Dutchman Joseph Luns sat as NATO chief for just under 13 years from 1971 to 1984.
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Strong salary jump
In January 2021, the Nato chief’s salary was set at 24,166 euros a month, according to Nato’s salary overview.
The salary overview shows that Stoltenberg received a solid salary increase after the invasion of Ukraine. Stoltenberg’s monthly salary increased to 26,556 euros from 1 March last year. This corresponds to an increase in annual salary of 28,680 euros.
With today’s weak krone exchange rate, this amounts to an increase in annual salary of NOK 334,398.
From 1 January this year, Stoltenberg is listed with a monthly salary of 26,878 euros. This amounts to a minor increase in annual salary from March last year of 3,864 euros (equivalent to NOK 45,000 at today’s exchange rate).
– All NATO salaries are available on the NATO website, and the Secretary-General’s salary is 26,878.75 euros per month. All NATO salaries are adjusted at regular intervals in line with inflation, writes an official NATO employee in an e-mail to Nettavisen.
Stoltenberg’s annual salary thus amounts to NOK 3,758,647 at today’s weak krone exchange rate.
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Speculation about extension
Stoltenberg’s mandate has already been extended three times. In the autumn, he will have served a full nine years as NATO chief.
Despite Stoltenberg’s previous statements that the plan is to return home to Norway after 1 October, there is speculation that his post as NATO chief will be extended once again.
The annual NATO summit is held in July. Nevertheless, it is not known who will eventually take over after Stoltenberg.
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NRK recently referred to sources in both NATO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) who confirm that it is likely that Stoltenberg’s term will be extended by a short period.
Dagens Næringsliv was able to reveal on Friday that Stoltenberg’s right-hand man, chief of staff Stian Jenssen, has withdrawn his application for a top job at the Foreign Ministry.
Sweden’s former prime minister and foreign minister, Carl Bildt, told Nettavisen last week that he does not rule out that there are forces in NATO that want Stoltenberg to continue.
– I can imagine that. He has handled this very well, Bildt told Nettavisen on Thursday last week.