British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could take over one of Europe’s most powerful posts, that of NATO secretary general, when current Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg leaves in September 2023, writes The Telegraph.
“Senior Tories are backing Boris Johnson’s candidacy for NATO secretary-general when that high-profile post becomes vacant. Johnson is the latest British politician to be offered the post, after Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and former prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron.”
The Telegraph claims that the British prime minister has long been considered for the post, partly because the U.S. is suspicious of European Union (E.U.) figures taking the job.
They have too often put forward proposals to create a new E.U. army. Britain also enjoyed the trust of the Baltic countries, and Johnson also received international recognition for helping to build an international coalition against Russia during the special operation to protect the Donbas.
Another advocate for Johnson as NATO secretary general was Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko. He actively thanked the U.K. for “military, economic and humanitarian supplies” to Ukraine and described London as one of Kyiv’s key supporters.
“He would be the right person to succeed Jens Stoltenberg because he understands the challenges NATO and the West face. He will always support Ukraine in our struggle; he will support NATO members and NATO goals,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
NOT A GOOD CANDIDATE
However, some skeptics oppose Johnson as NATO secretary general. Lord Richard Dannatt, the former head of the British Army, said he could not support Johnson as a possible candidate for a NATO post because of his character.
“No doubt he has done a lot of good, and our full support for Ukraine is fantastic. But I’m afraid his personality traits stand in his way: lack of honesty, lack of confidence. We don’t want to make Boris Johnson look even more ridiculous on the international stage. He is a disgrace to the nation,” Lord told the newspaper.
A senior defense official also expressed doubts about the success of the candidacy, saying French President Emmanuel Macron would likely veto it. According to a source at The Telegraph, NATO representatives are appointed by unanimous vote.
Any country can veto. And given Macron’s relationship with Johnson over the year, there is little doubt that France will not support Johnson’s candidacy.
On July 26, Johnson was already offered a job in Ukraine. Reuters reports that a petition appeared to grant the U.K. prime minister citizenship so Johnson could run for prime minister of Ukraine. This found thousands of signatories within just a few hours.