Odvar Nordli, a Cold War Leader of Norway, Dies at 90

Odvar Nordli, a Cold War Leader of Norway, Dies at 90

Odvar Nordli, who stepped down as prime minister of Norway after a five-year term amid opposition over his Cold War agreement to stockpile United States weapons in his country, died on Tuesday in Oslo. He was 90.

His death was announced by the Norwegian government, which said the cause was prostate cancer.

Mr. Nordli, a career Labor Party politician who was prime minister from 1976 to 1981, supported full-employment programs and increased social welfare services while presiding over the expansion of Norway’s offshore oil production. In 1977, a blowout of a well disgorged tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the North Sea.

But it was his actions as a staunch supporter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and as an advocate of heightened military security in Europe that largely alienated him from his party’s left wing. Opponents said his decision to let the United States store heavy weapons near the Soviet border would only increase tensions with Moscow.

He resigned in 1981, citing health problems. Doctors had advised him to take a two-month break from politics, he said at the time, but he concluded that resignation would better serve his party’s interests.

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