Front against Rutte – The Romanian president wants to become NATO chief

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As previously reported, an Eastern European front is building against the bid of outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for the position of Secretary General of NATO. What had been rumored for weeks is now official: Romanian President Klaus Johannis is also applying for the top job.

In view of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, a “more balanced contribution and influence from Eastern Europe within the framework of the defense alliance” is necessary, Johannis said in a TV speech. The Romanian president, whose second and final term ends in December, made it clear that his country currently spends 2.5 percent of its national budget on defense.

The 64-year-old added that Romania is currently participating “in all NATO missions and also in the NATO-led peacekeeping missions in the Balkans,” making its contribution to ensuring security in the Black Sea region and also unconditionally provides support to war-torn countries. neighboring country Ukraine.

Former president: ‘Rutte despises Eastern Europe’
Johannis is clearly the underdog in the race, in which Rutte is the overwhelming favorite. The US, Germany, Great Britain and France have spoken out in favor of the Dutchman. Still, it remains unclear whether there will be consensus among NATO countries when it comes to Rutte. Several states on the military alliance’s eastern flank, including Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary and Romania, are not backing him as the next secretary general.

Just last week, Johannis’ predecessor, Traian Basescu, emphasized in a talk show that Johannis was “almost obliged” to prevent Mark Rutte from becoming Secretary General of NATO, because, according to Basescu, he had nothing but contempt for Eastern Europe.

Source: Krone

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