French President Emmanuel Macron Calls for a 'European Army' to Defend Against China, Russia and the US
French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for the formation of a âreal European armyâ to protect the continent âwith respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.â
Agence France-Presse reports that while on a tour of World War I memorials Tuesday, Macron said: âWe will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.â
Macron has advocated for the mobilization of a collective European force since his election last year. But those calls may be received with more urgency after President Trump announced last month that the U.S. would pull out of a Cold War era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. Trump has also displayed a tepid attitude in the past towards NATOâs mutual defense commitments.
âWhen I see President Trump announcing that heâs quitting a major disarmament treaty, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,â Macron said on a visit to Verdun, a French city that was the site of a major battle in 1916.
Europe needs to be prepared to â[defend] itself better alone, without just depending on the United States,â the French president added.
The E.U. launched an annual â¬5.5 billion ($6.3 billion) joint defense fund last year, and added another â¬13 billion ($14.8 billion) in defense spending in June to support development of new military technology. France has also led the formation of a nine-country rapid deployment force to respond to crises like evacuations or natural disasters.
Macron is preparing to host dozens of world leaders, including Trump an d Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice.
But ahead of that anniversary, the French president has spoken of modern threats to European peace, including the reemergence of âauthoritarian powersâ and âintrusion attempts in cyber-spaceâ seeking to derail democratic elections in Europe. (Russia has been accused of intervening in elections in France as well as supporting far-right parties in Germany and elsewhere.)
âPeace in Europe is precarious,â Macron said.
Write to Eli Meixler at email@example.com.Source: Google News Russia | Netizen 24 Russia