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Ekspremjers Kariņš (JV) nenoliedz vēlmi strādāt ārvalstīs

Former Prime Minister Kariņš still interested in NATO job

Former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, now Member of the Saeima, Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity) does not deny that he is still interested in securing a role within NATO, reports Latvian Television.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will leave his post this fall, on October 1. The candidate for the post of NATO Secretary General is placed in front of member states for a decision together with the entire team, including his or her deputies.

Kariņš initially voiced his desire for the top job, but failed to gain much momentum and former Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now considered the front runner for the crucial post. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was also considered a viable candidate – there has never been a female NATO Secretary General – but her candidacy also faltered and now she too has backed Rutte for the job.

Whispers have been circulating in the corridors of the Saeima for quite some time that Kariņš will be an applicant for the deputy position, if Rutte is promoted to the position of Secretary General. It has also been said that there is active lobbying in favor of Kariņš's candidacy.

In day-to-day work, the Secretary General is directly supported by a Private Office and a Deputy Secretary General, who assists the Secretary General and replaces them in their absence. The Deputy Secretary General is also the chair of a number of senior committees, ad-hoc groups and working groups.

"Regarding the NATO structures, the procedure, which I have also explained earlier, is a bit unclear, everything happens behind the scenes. Then it is probably not a process that anyone would willingly talk about. Undoubtedly, we as a country also participate in this whole process," said Kariņš.

When asked if he would be ready to take up the position, Kariņš answered:

"If someone evaluates my abilities as valid, I am ready to work in different capacities." 

All member states decide on the appointment of the NATO Secretary General.

Krišjānis Kariņš on Patria project
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On May 24 Kariņš was at the opening of the new Patria armored vehicle factory in Valmiera – a project which launched under his premiership. He told LSM about his pride in the achievement and what it might mean for further development of Latvia's military production capacity.   

The NATO Secretary General is a senior political figure from a NATO member country, appointed by member states for a four-year term. There is no open election or formal recorded vote in choosing the Secretary General – the choice is made via what NATO calls "informal diplomatic consultations among member countries, which put forward candidates for the post.

"No decision is confirmed until consensus is reached on one candidate. At the end of their term, the incumbent might be offered to stay on," says NATO's description of the process.

The position has traditionally been held by a European senior political figure.

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