Financial Times: NATO is considering extending the mandate of Jens Stoltenberg, because it cannot choose his successor

Anhelina Sheremet
Financial Times: NATO is considering extending the mandate of Jens Stoltenberg, because it cannot choose his successor

NATO leaders are inclined to extend Jens Stoltenbergʼs term as Secretary General.

This was reported by the Financial Times (FT) with reference to a source who participated in the discussions.

Stoltenberg has headed the alliance since October 2014, his mandate expires in October 2023. Although he has publicly stated that he has "no intention of seeking" an extension of his mandate, he has not ruled it out.

The alliance had difficulty finding a candidate who would satisfy all 31 members of the alliance. Because of this, member states do not rule out the possibility of asking Stoltenberg to extend his mandate for a fourth time.

"Stoltenberg has been an excellent secretary general, and I see no point in rocking the boat right now," the NATO foreign minister noted.

According to people close to Stoltenberg, he is increasingly irritated by the fact that he does not have a clear idea about his future. Members of his team in Brussels have already taken steps to move their families back to their countries.

The alliance has recently considered Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace for the post, but neither has yet won unanimous support in the face of various demands from member states. According to the sources, France and Germany supported Frederiksen and presented her as the best candidate in Europe, but Biden did not fully support Frederiksen.

Mette Frederiksen.

In the alliance, an American was always the military commander, and the general secretary was always from a European state. Many members have expressed support for the candidacy of the allianceʼs first female secretary-general, while others say a candidate from Eastern Europe will show the growing importance of the region and the importance of the war in Ukraine.

Most countries believe that this role should go to the current or former president or prime minister. Selection is also complicated by the requirement that candidates almost certainly need the support of their home government.

  • Before the start of the war in Ukraine, the current Secretary General of NATO ENS Stoltenberg officially refused to run for the next term and agreed to head the Central Bank of Norway. But now his mandate has been extended until September 2023. Stoltenberg has been the Secretary General of NATO since October 1, 2014.