The British Defense Minister Ben Wallace makes it clear that he is interested in the job as NATO chief when Jens Stoltenberg steps down.
British Defence Minister Ben Wallace has been mentioned on several occasions as a current successor to Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary General of NATO.
Wallace himself confirms that this is something he is interested in:
I have always said that this would be a good job. It’s a job I would like, says Wallace to the news agency DPA.
At the same time, the British minister assures that he is well satisfied with his current position.
NTB-DPA reports on the case.
Wallace is careful not to talk too much about his eventual candidacy for the position:
It is not up to me to decide this, it is up to all the other allies.
It has been pointed out that Britain’s withdrawal from the EU could make it more difficult for him to get support from a number of key NATO countries that are also key EU countries, such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
But at the moment there are not that many other candidates who appear to be very relevant, and Britain is and has been a key country in NATO since its inception in 1949.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen has also been mentioned as a candidate. Her candidacy will be somewhat weakened by the fact that Denmark has recently held the post, namely in Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Also there have been a lot of Scandinavian in this job, with three Nato chiefs from Denmark and Norway in succession. Read more below.
Stoltenberg was originally supposed to resign last year, but agreed to one more year as NATO chief. Now he has the job until 1 October.
A centrally located NATO source recently told NTB that a new, short extension may be appropriate.
In Nato, people are obviously satisfied with the work Stoltenberg is doing and in the current tense situation there is a great advantage of continuity in such a position.