Iohannis on NATO Leadership Bid: No Plans to Withdraw or Negotiate, Chances Reasonable

President Klaus Iohannis says that he does not intend to withdraw his candidacy for the position of Secretary General of NATO, nor to negotiate another position at the European level. Even though some foreign officials have announced their support for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for this position, Iohannis believes that his chances are “reasonable”.

“I do not intend to withdraw, nor to negotiate anything else. I focus on NATO. And yes, there are some statements in the public space. I still consider my chances to be reasonable”, said Iohannis, when asked if he is considering withdrawing his candidacy for the head of NATO or if he will negotiate another position at the European level, given that several foreign leaders said they support Mark Rutte.

The statement was made in a press conference held in Cotroceni together with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.

Also questioned if he sees Iohannis as his successor and if he credits him with chances for a position at European level, Charles Michel avoided an answer: First of all, I was telling you that Mr. Iohannis already has a very important role in the European Council. It helps a lot to build bridges between the member countries and I express, in this way, my gratitude for the role it has played so far in the European Council. But, again unsurprisingly, the issue of NATO is not one in which I can pronounce. There will be some elections and the leaders will pronounce themselves”.

The publications Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday addressed the topic of the succession at the head of NATO and wrote that Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the favorite, despite the reservations expressed by Turkey, Hungary and Slovakia.

The candidacy submitted by Klaus Iohannis “is not seen as a real alternative” to Rutte by most member states, writes the Financial Times, while The Wall Street Journal claims that the timing chosen by Iohannis to announce his candidacy “has irritated many diplomats of Alliance”.

US has officially announced on Tuesday that it “fully” supports Mark Rutte for the head of NATO, but also appreciates “good friend” Klaus Iohannis.

bidchancesCharles Michelklaus iohannisMark RuttenatoNATO leadershipsecretary generalUS
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  • Ben Jager

    My preference goes to President Klaus Werner Johannis. I am thinking of his initiatives such as Bucharest Nine and the Three Seas Initiative. As a neighbor of Ukraine, he is the man who knows what he is talking about.