Jens Stoltenberg actually wanted to become head of the Norwegian central bank in December. With the outbreak of war he changed his plans. The agreement between Turkey and the NATO candidates Finland and Sweden shows how important it is for the alliance.

He had imagined it very differently. In December, Jens Stoltenberg, 63, wanted to do something new again after eight years at the helm of NATO. He should become head of the Norwegian central bank.

But then, in February, Russian tanks rolled across the Ukrainian border. The security of Europe was suddenly in danger. Stoltenberg turned down the new employer and instead extended his contract as general secretary. He is now in demand as a coordinator and crisis manager, not as a monetary guardian.

NATO has a purpose again