NATO, short for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, is an intergovernmental military alliance that focuses on cooperating to protect the members of the treaty. It consists of 30 member states, but is Norway part of NATO?
Norway is a member of NATO, and was in fact one of the 12 founding nations back in 1949. The current Secretary General of NATO is a Norwegian as well, former prime minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg.
So there you have it! Norway is indeed a part of NATO, and not only that, but it has always been a member, and even plays an important role in NATO’s operations.
There are no permanent NATO bases in Norway, but the country is used for international practice missions by NATO member states all the time.
Norway’s NATO history
Many people were surprised that Norway joined NATO in 1949 when it was founded, because they were rather expecting Norway and the other Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Finland to make a joint Nordic defense agreement.
But Norway joined NATO right at the very beginning, and there’s a good reason for it.
After the end of WWII, the Western Allies did not want Norway to be exposed to the communism in the east. They argued that Norway’s coastline with all its riches was an appealing prospect for the Soviet Union, and wanted to let Norway join in on the treaty instead.
Norway did also provide NATO with some benefits, even considering that this was back before Norway found its oil and became a rich nation.
Norway shares 200 km of border with Russia, making it the only of the founding NATO members to actually share a border with the then Soviet Union with no buffer states in between.
This allowed NATO to have close access to a neighbor country of their main enemy, even though Norway refused to provide any permanent NATO military bases.
It wasn’t until 2022 that our neighbors Finland and Sweden joined NATO, due to the increased threat from Russia after the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.