NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg may become the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Norwegian TV 2 broadcaster reported on Wednesday, citing ‘reliable’ sources within the US-led military bloc.
Moreover, the outgoing secretary general is the US favourite to lead the Washington-headquartered organization, the source added. Currently, the fund is led by Kristalina Georgieva, a veteran Bulgarian economist, whose tenure is scheduled to end in 2024.
Stoltenberg was set to leave NATO in September, but his term was extended into late 2023 amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. With no successor for the post in clear sight, Stoltenberg may end up having his tenure extended even beyond 2023 – potentially for another year – multiple media reports have suggested.
Several high-ranking politicians are reportedly being considered as the new chair of the military bloc. NATO allegedly aims to install a woman at its helm for the first time, with Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova, Estonian PM Kaja Kallas, and former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic named among the contenders.
In early November, the New York Times reported that the “prime candidate” favored by Washington to replace the outgoing NATO secretary general was Chrystia Freeland, who is currently Canada’s finance minister and deputy prime minister.
The politician, known for her strong pro-Ukrainian – and anti-Russian – stance, is the granddaughter of Mikhail Chomiak, who published a pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic newspaper in the occupied Polish city of Krakow.
“Where any of the candidates come down on support for Ukraine in the war against Russia will be a critical factor,” the NYT wrote.
Freeland has been extremely ambiguous on her controversial ancestry, refusing to condemn her maternal grandparents and even describing them as “political exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an independent Ukraine” in her 2015 essay ‘My Ukraine’.