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The common voice of France, Poland and Germany. “NATO faces the most important test in history”

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The foreign ministers of the Weimar Triangle countries published a text summarizing the current European support for Ukraine and talking about the most important challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance, which is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The text by Annalena Baerbock (MFA of the Federal Republic of Germany), Stephane Sejourne (MFA of the French Republic) and Radosław Sikorski (MFA of the Republic of Poland) was published on the website Politico. The joint article is not only a short summary of 75 years of NATO, but also an attempt to indicate the priorities that should be set for Europe in the coming years.

European support for Ukraine

The beginning of the text largely focuses on the issue of European aid for Ukraine. The authors point out that over the last two years, European Union countries have supported Kiev with EUR 200 billion, which constitutes almost 2/3 of the total support provided to our eastern neighbors.

“We will help as long as it is needed (…)” – we read.

“We support Ukraine to defend freedom and security, but we also invest in our strength in Europe. We cannot make a mistake – today Ukraine is under attack, but tomorrow it could be someone from Europe. “Russia will not change its imperialist policy in the near future,” politicians point out, emphasizing that, especially on the 75th anniversary of the founding of NATO, it is important to repeat the principle that an attack on one member of the Alliance is perceived as an attack on all of them.

The text mentions the topic of NATO expansion. “For years, Putin has spread lies to justify his wars. One of them says that NATO poses a threat to Russia. But the truth is different,” we read. As the ministers point out, joining further countries in the Alliance is, among other things, as a result of the growing threat from Russia. The recent accessions of Sweden and Finland are given as an example.

Don’t allow any concessions

The text clearly states that Europe can no longer afford any policy of concessions towards Russia. “We cannot allow any gray area. Putin treats it as an invitation to undermine territorial integrity.” According to the ministers, the example of full-scale aggression against Ukraine shows that counting on concessions to satisfy Russian ambitions and ensure stability on the continent is “naive.”

Moreover, it was noticed that so far it was the Americans who had borne a significant part of the costs of the Alliance and it was admitted that European countries must show readiness to take greater responsibility for NATO. To do this, Europe needs to address some of the most pressing issues. These include interoperability, logistics and insufficient production capabilities. The article also indicates three main goals that European allies should set for themselves:

  • At least 2 percent GDP for defense (it was noted that all Weimar Triangle countries meet this condition) and strategic expenditure on the development of forces and capabilities needed for collective defense;
  • Using the full industrial potential of the Old Continent to increase military capabilities. The key is to be the national defense industry, which should be supported by long-term contracts and purchase guarantees from individual governments;
  • Investing in future technologies to maintain technological advantage and strengthen the deterrence capabilities of the entire NATO.

EU and defense

Finally, the authors of the text stated that they have recently managed to create several initiatives that may raise some optimism. These are the European Defense Fund, the European Peace Facility and the European Investment Bank. As we read, these are not all initiatives that are being worked on. “We reaffirm the European Union’s commitment to increasing defense capabilities.”

“Putin bases his strategy on wrong thinking – he believes that he will defeat Ukraine and withstand our support. He tests the level of our unity. We have to prove to him that aggression will not pay off for him, both now and in the future. (…) As Europeans, we are ready to do our part,” we read in the summary.

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