Kaljulaid, Kallas continue to be linked with NATO secretary general job

Kersti Kaljulaid.
Kersti Kaljulaid. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

While there is no set procedure on nominating candidates to the post of NATO Secretary General, the names of both Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and former president Kersti Kaljulaid have frequently been mentioned in connection with the job – in the latter case, twinned with a personal ambition which is an "open secret" in Estonian foreign and security policy circles, daily Postimees writes.

Postimees reports on its English-language page that both Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' names have appeared in the western media in the past year, in connection with the job, with both of them touted as possibles as the first ever woman to have held the role, assuming current incumbent Jens Stoltenberg's term is not extended further, in the current security situation.

While Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur (Reform) says he knows the names of some of the candidates in general, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) was more concrete, saying that Estonia should not be coy in putting forward a candidate of its own.

Key ally the UK, too, has been, via diplomatic channels, sounding out Estonia's politicians on the situation – had interest in promoting Kaja Kallas been truly sincere, Postimees writes, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have backed it, though, by contrast, Reform's former long-term Riigikogu foreign affairs committee chair Marko Mihkelson says that such lobbying in Estonia is "in its infancy", adding that any Foreign Ministry work on behalf of Kaljulaid's candidacy failed to reach agenda of the Foreign Affairs Committee last spring.

Kaljulaid's advisor, Mattias Tammet, rejects claims that Kaljulaid directly asked either Kallas or Reinslau for backing in any NATO secretary general bid, adding that conversations simply concerned Estonia's position on any future secretary general candidates more broadly.

The full (lengthy) Postimees piece is here.

Kersti Kaljulaid launched a bid to become the next Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) chief while still in office as president, though later withdrew her candidacy.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Postimees

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