BRUSSELS, July 30. /TASS/. Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not have a single chance to become a NATO Secretary General candidate, a source in Brussels international institutions told TASS Saturday, adding that Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is currently being considered the most optimal option.
"Johnson has no chances even to challenge the NATO Secretary General’s office for three reasons. The first one is his role in the Brexit process, and implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which EU countries view with strong criticism. His candidacy will be immediately rejected by the leading continental states. Second, the scandalous character of his resignation will not improve the alliance’s reputation. And the third and the most important reason: there is an unspoken consensus in NATO that the new Secretary General must be a woman, preferably from new NATO member states," the diplomat noted.
According to the source, previously, ex-President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was considered one of the optimal candidates for the office, but her candidacy has become unlikely amid the current standoff with Russia and the complicated situation on the Balkans, where NATO "prefers not to provoke Serbia too much."
"Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas has the optimal profile: she is a woman, which will provide more inclusiveness to the alliance, she is a representative of Baltic states with a clear critical position towards Russia, and at the same time, she has certain knowledge of Russia and the Russian language," the source said, adding that her age of 45 years is also an advantage, because it "appeals to the younger generation" of NATO member state citizens.
At the same time, the source noted that the real discussion regarding the new Secretary General "will not being until next year, considering the rapidly changing situation." The mandate of the current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has been prolonged for the third time on March 24 until September 30, 2023.