Germany blocked EU boss’ NATO bid

Ursula von der Leyen is too tough on Russia for the job, Olaf Scholz reportedly told White House

German newspaper Die Welt said that German Chancellor Olaf Schulz intervened last year to prevent European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen from becoming the next Secretary-General of NATO. Schulz reportedly felt that von der Leyen's hardline anti-Russian stance would be a problem “The long-term.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg received a fourth extension of his term as head of the military bloc last July. Although Stoltenberg may remain in his position until October, NATO leaders have already begun maneuvering to replace him.

At the end of last year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested von der Leyen to President Joe Biden as a possible alternative, Welt newspaper reported on Saturday. The report, citing Biden, claimed that Biden presented the idea to Schultz, but it was rejected “Several high-level EU officials and senior diplomats.

He added: “Schulz was categorically against von der Leyen becoming NATO commander.” One of these sources said. The German Chancellor reportedly told Biden that the position of Secretary-General is very important “Leaving the Christian Democratic Party of Germany” and von der Leyen's hostility towards Moscow “It could be a drawback in the long run.” As the newspaper put it.

There is no formal process by which NATO selects its Secretary-General. Instead, member states discuss the candidates among themselves until consensus is reached.

The United States, NATO's largest military power and de facto dominant member, is said to prefer a woman for the role. It was doubtful that Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen would be the main candidate last year, until she traveled to Washington in June and – according to Wilt – failed to convince Biden or members of Congress. Stoltenberg's term was extended a month later.

While Washington appears to want a woman at the helm, Biden has already ruled out another prominent candidate, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. According to Felt, US President Kallas is too critical of Moscow and unable to build stable relations with the Kremlin when the conflict in Ukraine eventually ends.

With von der Leyen, Frederiksen and Kalas out of the running, the media is now describing interim Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as the front-runner for the job. Welt's sources reported this “Support for him is growing” And that leaders in 21 member states – including Biden and Schulz – are ready to endorse his nomination. While Biden may have preferred a woman, Rutte is said to be seen as someone who could work with him or former President Donald Trump, should the latter defeat Biden in next November's election.

He added: “The decision should be made, if possible, before the European elections in June.” A NATO diplomat told the Welt newspaper. The newspaper pointed out that the Munich Security Conference, which will be held this weekend, will provide a great opportunity for Rutte to attract more supporters.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button