„Experience, understanding of challenges and commitment to NATO values.” Romania’s Klaus Iohannis explains why he wants to be NATO chief

Sursa: Inquam Photos / George Călin

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday said that the countries on NATO’s eastern flank are the Allies’ first line of deterrence against Russia’s aggression, a reason why Romania deserves a senior role in NATO leadership.

Mr. Iohannis who launched his bid to be NATO Secretary-General in March said he threw in his hat with the conviction that he had the necessary experience, an in-depth understanding of the region and the assets it has to make good decisions for the Alliance to bolster  Euro-Atlantic security.

“My decision is based on Romania’s performance, the experience gained during my two mandates as President of Romania, my deep understanding of the challenges facing NATO, Europe, and especially our region, and my firm commitment to NATO’s core values and objectives,”  the president said in a press statement.

Speaking at „ROMANIA – NATO, 20 years”, a defense ministry event to mark the 20th anniversary of Romania joining the military alliance, he said: „The countries on NATO’s eastern flank are, at these times, in the first allied line of deterrence and defense to maintain Euro-Atlantic security in the face of  Russian  aggression,” he said at the

„It is… a legitimate aspiration for an entire region that, throughout history, has constantly looked Russian danger in the eye to have greater representation in NATO’s leadership structures.”

He said Romania had earned the recognition of all its allies for its performance and the professionalism of its military. “We have bolstered our status as a reliable partner within NATO,” he said, explaining why he was eyeing the position of NATO secretary general.

Mr. Iohannis’ announcement that he was running for the job was a surprise move for some although there had been speculation for months in Romania. He was elected president in 2014 and his second and final term expires this year.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is backed by several member states, including the US, Britain and France, is also running for the job and considered the favorite.

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