Romania wants to nominate its president for the post of NATO Secretary General

Romania has said it plans to nominate its president, Klaus Iohannis, for secretary-general, a move that could complicate efforts by other coalition members to nominate Mark Rutte.

Backed by the United States, Great Britain and other major nations, Rutte has been seen as the favorite to become NATO secretary general for months after the alliance’s current chief, Jens Stoltenberg, expires in October.

But some countries on NATO’s eastern side are not giving the green light to the route as they push for greater regional representation in senior positions within the organization.

The last leaders of the coalition were representatives of the Scandinavian countries or the Netherlands


Iohannis’ press office did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment. Rutte’s spokesman said it was up to NATO allies to decide on the next secretary-general and declined to comment further.

European and US officials expressed doubts about Iohannis’ prospects, with some saying Romanian pressure would likely delay the route’s confirmation process.

President Joe Biden has high regard for both candidates, but the U.S. is already leaning toward Root, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Latvian Foreign Minister Krijanis Karins also previously expressed interest in the position, but their countries ultimately refrained from nominating them as candidates.

Iohannis said this month that “it would be unacceptable for someone from Eastern Europe to fill any of the senior positions discussed this year.”

The agency noted that Romania’s representative, Mircea Giona, would now find it difficult to advance Iohannis’ candidacy for NATO’s deputy secretary general post.

At the same time, Iohannis may be a possible candidate to succeed Charles Michel as President of the European Council.

EP about the “competition” for the post of NATO Secretary General and its likely winner