France, Germany, Poland to tighten defence ties | EUROtoday

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The governments of Poland, France and Germany vowed Monday to make Europe a safety and defence energy with a higher potential to again Ukraine, as fears develop that former US president Donald Trump may return to the White House and permit Russia to broaden its aggression on the continent.

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The international ministers of the three international locations met within the Paris suburb of La Celle-Saint-Cloud to have talks about Ukraine, amid different points. They mentioned reviving the so-called Weimar Triangle, a protracted dormant regional grouping that was designed to advertise cooperation between France, Germany and Poland.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday, mentioned he needed to “revitalise” his nation’s relations with its key European companions.

“There is no reason why we should be so clearly militarily weaker than Russia, and therefore increasing production and intensifying our cooperation are absolutely indisputable priorities,” Tusk mentioned in arguing for the EU to change into “a military power” in its personal proper.

Former EU chief Tusk referenced Alexandre Dumas’s traditional ebook, “The Three Musketeers”, as he mentioned Poland was prepared to face shoulder to shoulder with France and pressured that the philosophy on the coronary heart of relations between the European Union and NATO was based mostly on the precept of “one for all, all for one”.

“Together with France we are ready to fight for this security” of “all of Europe”, he mentioned, flanked by Macron.

The diplomatic push got here after Trump shocked many in Europe over the weekend by showing to ask Russia to invade any NATO member not spending sufficient by itself protection.

“‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’” Trump recounted telling an unidentified NATO member throughout his presidency. “‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.’”

‘No one can play…with Europe’s safety’

The Republican front-runner’s phrases at a marketing campaign rally had been significantly stunning for front-line NATO international locations like Poland, which skilled each German and Soviet occupation throughout World War II and later spent a long time beneath Soviet management. Anxieties run excessive there over the continuing battle simply throughout Poland’s japanese border.

Speaking alongside Tusk in Berlin, Scholz blasted Trump’s feedback.

“NATO’s promise of protection is unrestricted — ‘all for one and one for all,’” Scholz mentioned with out mentioning the previous president by title. “And let me say clearly for current reasons: Any relativisation of NATO’s support guarantee is irresponsible and dangerous, and is in the interest of Russia alone.”

“No one can play, or ‘deal,’ with Europe’s security,” the chancellor added.

Earlier Monday, Scholz inaugurated a brand new ammunition manufacturing unit, underlining Europe’s efforts to ramp up weapons manufacturing.

Tusk additionally urged European nations to take a position extra in army tasks so as “to achieve as quickly as possible… in the next dozen or so months, much greater air defense capabilities, much greater production capabilities in terms of ammunition”.

Asked about Trump’s remarks, Tusk mentioned they “should act like a cold shower for all those who continue to underestimate this increasingly real threat which Europe is facing”.

Macron, talking alongside Tusk in Paris, mentioned Europe’s will “to further supply and meet Ukrainian needs is crucial”, after leaders of the 27 EU member nations sealed a deal to supply Ukraine with €50 billion ($54 billion) in help for its war-ravaged economic system.

This “will enable us to make from Europe a security and defense power that is both complementary to NATO and a pillar of the Atlantic alliance”, Macron said.

Putin ‘must not be allowed to win this war’

Trump’s remarks raised concerns that if reelected, he could embolden Russia to attack other countries besides Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg issued a statement Sunday saying that Trump’s remarks put American troops and their allies at greater risk.

NATO does not require its 31 members to pay bills, but they are expected to invest a certain percentage of their own budgets – ideally, 2% of their gross domestic product – on defence.

Some countries, like Poland, have long met the target. Other European nations ramped up their military spending after Russia invaded Ukraine almost two years ago.

Germany, with a post-World War II political culture of military caution, was a frequent target of Trump’s ire during his presidency for falling short of the 2% target, but Berlin announced plans to step up military spending after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and plans to hit the benchmark this year.

France’s military budget grew in recent years and reached the level of about 2% of GDP.

Tusk returned to power as prime minister of his central European nation in December after eight years of rule by a national conservative government that often took an antagonistic stance with European allies, particularly Germany. As a result, Warsaw’s influence in Europe diminished.

The Weimar Triangle was created in 1991 as Poland was emerging from decades of communism as a platform for political cooperation among the three nations.

Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski noted Monday that he and his French and German counterparts “meet at a dramatic, but also solemn moment”. Russian President Vladimir Putin “must not be allowed to win this war. We must fulfill our obligations toward Ukraine”.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said “each minute counts to get Europeans prepared to absorb the shock of a scenario that has been well described by Donald Trump”.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)