ERR in Brussels: New NATO Chief Reaffirms Support for Ukraine ({{commentsTotal}})

Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg, who replaced Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the new NATO Secretary General on Wednesday, said the alliance wants constructive contact with Russia, but the nation must change its course in Ukraine.

He said at a press conference that Russia must modify its behavior, fulfill its international commitments and follow international law.

"We will continue our full support for an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine,“ Stoltenberg said Wednesday.

"I see no contradiction between a strong NATO and our continued effort to build a constructive relationship with Russia. Just the opposite. Only a strong NATO can build such a relationship for the benefit of Euro-Atlantic security." he said.

Stoltenberg, a Social Democrat and prime minister for Norway on three occasions, and is thought to be Angela Merkel's choice to lead the organization.

Martin Hurt, the deputy director of the International Center for Defense Studies, located in Tallinn, said Stoltenberg is a positive choice for Estonia, as he shares a common vision on security problems in Europe as Estonia.

Hurt said a new NATO chief from southern Europe would have focused more on the Middle East.