During the Ramstein meeting in Germany on 21 April, it transpired that Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had emerged as a candidate to take over from Jens Stoltenberg. VG confirmed this from two independent sources. Frederiksen is tough and has taken the same offensive line towards Russia as Stoltenberg.

She is also not as popular at home and that can make the NATO job more alluring. The government across the blocs has not been the success that was predicted. The person who has gained is Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen from the Moderates.

There has been speculation that Stoltenberg will take a third term, but nothing so far indicates that. He will retire in September.

The successor must be in place for the summit in Vilnius in July.

The Dutch Mark Rutte has the qualifications, but does not want the job.

If Frederiksen is elected, the Nordic region will have had three general secretaries. The first was Anders Fogh Rasmussen, also Danish.

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