French President Emmanuel Macron Calls for a 'European Army' to Defend Against China, Russia and the US

By On November 06, 2018

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 “real European army” to protect the continent “with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.”

Agence France-Presse reports that while on a tour of World War I memorials Tuesday, Macron said: “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army.”

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 NATO’s mutual defense commitments.

“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” 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 “[defend] itself better alone, without just depending on the United States,” the French president added.

The E.U. launched an annual €5.5 billion ($6.3 billion) joint defense fund last year, and added another €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 “authoritarian powers” and “intrusion attempts in cyber-space” 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.)

“Peace in Europe is precarious,” Macron said.

Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com.

Source: Google News Russia | Netizen 24 Russia

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