The British Defense Minister, Ben Wallace, said he does not expect to become the next NATO secretary general. "It's not going to happen," Wallace said in an interview with the weekly "The Economist," adding that he believes the United States wants the current secretary, Jens Stoltenbergremain in office for another year. Wallace had been singled out as a contender for the position due to his prominent role in supporting Ukraine after Russia's invasion. The British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has always expressed his support for Wallace regarding this opportunity. As reported by the British weekly, some EU leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, would be reluctant to accept a candidate from a non-EU non-member country for the post. According to "The Economist", however, the United States would have expressed doubts about Wallace due to the way in which he has forced the pace on support for Ukraine.
In his interview with "The Economist", the British defense minister speculated that the United States wants a more experienced politician to succeed Stoltenberg. "Maybe they want a prime minister," Wallace said, citing the fact that Washington would have support for a political figure who currently holds the post of head of government in his own country. Wallace also warned that whoever obtains the role of secretary general will face "many unresolved issues in NATO" and will have to "satisfy both Macron and Biden", referring to the attention that the United States demands from allies in the confrontation over China and the emphasis that France places on European autonomy.