Kaja Kallas: Estonia ready to support Rutte becoming secretary general of NATO

Kaja Kallas and Mark Rutte.
Kaja Kallas and Mark Rutte. Photo: John Thys / AFP / Scanpix

Estonia is not opposed to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte becoming the next secretary general of NATO and is ready to support his candidacy as well as that of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on the «Esimene Stuudio» («First Studio») TV show of public broadcaster ERR on Tuesday evening.

According to Kallas, Rutte's strength lies in his ability to make compromises, although at the same time the Netherlands does not meet the goal of 2 percent of defense spending. She noted that Estonia has come up with three criteria for the future secretary general.

«One is how to get all allies to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on security. And there, a person who comes from a country that actually does this is more believable than one who comes from a country that doesn't actually do it. Another important element for us has been geographical balance. Unfortunately, people from Eastern Europe have not been in leading positions in NATO,» the prime minister said.

«But the third criterion is that since building coalitions or finding compromises is still crucial in large organizations, Mark Rutte has been the leader of coalition governments for a long time and I have also seen him at the European Union table, he knows how to make compromises and ensure that everyone is on board. This is his strength,» Kallas added.

She noted that the government has met with both Rutte and Iohannis and is essentially ready to support both candidates, whichever the majority supports.