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HomeWORLDLatvia’s Kariņš eyes NATO top job – POLITICO

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Latvia’s Kariņš eyes NATO top job – POLITICO


Latvian Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš on Sunday declared his interest in becoming NATO’s next secretary-general, throwing his hat in the ring for the much contended race to succeed Jens Stoltenberg when he steps down next October.

“Krišjānis Kariņš is ready to join the competition,” a spokesperson for Kariņš’ said in a statement on Sunday.

Kariņš, who stepped down as Latvian prime minister in August, can bring to the NATO position “his leadership experience as prime minister, clear understanding of Russia’s threat, strong stance on Ukraine, and proven track record as an international consensus builder,” according to the statement.

Kariņš joins Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in vying to be the next leader of the defense alliance. Stoltenberg’s tenure, which has been extended four times, ends in October 2024.

Speaking at the POLITICO Defense Summit last week, Kallas said she would like to be considered for the position. Rutte at the end of last month said the post of NATO secretary-general is “very interesting” to him.

Selection for the post requires unanimous approval among the 31 NATO allies — especially from the U.S., which holds the most weight as it leads the military contributions.

Kariņš signaled his interest as worries grow among leaders of Baltic and Eastern European countries that U.S. support for Ukraine’s war effort is wavering, and as NATO’s role is evolving as a key force in support of Ukraine’s efforts to repel Russia’s invasion.

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