Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland seen as frontrunner for NATO head, says NYT

5 November 2022, 11:47 AM
Chrystia Freeland (Photo:REUTERS/Blair Gable)

Chrystia Freeland (Photo:REUTERS/Blair Gable)

While NATO states are actively discussing the candidacy of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s successor, in the U.S., the prime candidate is considered to be deputy prime minister and Minister of Finance of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, The New York Times wrote on Nov. 4.

Stoltenberg’s mandate expires in the fall of 2023. According to the NYT, the EU is considering a female candidate from its member states for the position. Among them are the Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas, the President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová and the ex-President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

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UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace, who had previously turned down submitting his candidacy for the post of prime minister, may also apply for the role.

As negotiations have just begun, the initial roster of candidates will typically be filtered out as part of deliberations between member states themselves. The NYT adds that the U.S. usually does not nominate itself, since an American general commands the NATO forces in Europe.

Freeland, who has Ukrainian roots, holds several advantages for candidacy: fluency in several languages (English, French, Italian, Ukrainian, and Russian), her ability to hold press conferences, and the fact that she has managed “complex agencies,” such as government ministries, previously. She could become the first woman and the first Canadian to hold the post of NATO Secretary General.

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