Poland, France and Germany promise to make Europe stronger as fears about Russia and Trump grow

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Polish Prime Minister Tusk to the Elysée Palace in Paris on Monday, February 12, 2024.  Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk was traveling to Paris and Berlin in a diplomatic bid to rebuild key alliances, as fears grow that former President Donald Trump could return to power in the United States and give Russia a free hand would give to expand its aggression in Europe.  (AP photo/Aurelien Morissard)

(Aurelien Morissard/Associated Press)

Poland, France and Germany promise to make Europe stronger as fears about Russia and Trump grow

Ukraine

SYLVIE CORBET and VANESSA GERA

February 12, 2024

The governments of France, Poland, France and Germany pledged on Monday to make Europe a security and defense force with a greater ability to support Ukraine, amid concerns that former US President Donald Trump could return to the White House and would allow Russia to expand its aggression. the continent. The foreign ministers of France, Poland and Germany, the three countries, met in the Paris suburb of La Celle-Saint-Cloud to discuss

Ukraine

, amide and other issues. They discussed reviving the so-called Weimar Triangle, a long-dormant regional grouping intended to promote cooperation between the three countries. France, Germany and Poland. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Monday and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday, said he wanted to revive his country’s relations with its main European partners. There is no reason why we should be so clearly weaker than Russia militarily, and that is why increasing production and intensifying our cooperation are absolutely unquestionable priorities, Tusk said in his plea for the European Union to have a standalone military to become power.

The

diplomatic pressure came

after Trump shocked many in Europe last weekend

saying he would invite

Russia will invade everyone

North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO

member

that is

not spending enough on its own defense.

You haven’t paid? Are you delinquent?

Trump told

against an unknown NATO member during his presidency. No, I wouldn’t protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You have to pay. You have to pay your bills.

The

Republican frontrunner

These words were especially shocking to frontline NATO countries such as Poland,

which experienced both German and Soviet occupation during World War II and was later under Soviet control for decades. Concerns about the ongoing war just across Poland’s eastern border are high there. Scholz spoke alongside Tusk in Berlin and denounced Trump’s comments. NATO’s promise of protection is unlimited: all for one and one for all,” Scholz said, without naming the former president. And for the present reasons, let me say clearly: any downplaying of NATO’s support guarantee is irresponsible and dangerous, and is in Russia’s sole interest. No one can play or deal with the security of Europe, the Chancellor added. Earlier Monday, Scholz opened a new ammunition factory, underscoring Europe’s efforts to boost weapons production. Tusk also urged European countries to invest more in military projects to “achieve as quickly as possible… in the next twelve months much greater air defense capabilities, much greater production capabilities in terms of ammunition.” Asked about Trump’s comments, Tusk said they should act like a cold shower for anyone who continues to underestimate this increasingly real threat facing Europe. Macron, together with Tusk in Paris, said Europe’s will to continue meeting Ukraine’s needs is crucial, after the leaders of the 27 EU member states reached an agreement

to provide Ukraine with 50 billion euros

($54 billion) to support the war-ravaged economy. “This will allow us to turn Europe into a security and defense force that is both complementary to NATO and a pillar of the Atlantic alliance,” Macron said. Trump’s comments raised concerns that if re-elected, he could encourage Russia to attack countries other than others. Ukraine. Secretary General of NATO

Jens Stoltenberg has issued a statement

On Sunday, he said Trump’s comments put U.S. troops and their allies in greater danger. 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, in defense. Some countries, such as Poland, have long achieved this goal. Other European countries increased their military spending after Russia invaded Ukraine almost two years ago. Speaking in Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani dismissed Trump’s threats as an election campaign joke but said it was legitimate that all NATO members should do their part. Italy has not yet reached the target of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) for defense spending. “More influence within NATO, we need a Europe with its own army,” he said. We must look ahead because it is fair that Americans ask us to do our part. We must have equal responsibility. Germany, with a political culture of military caution after World War II, was often the target of Trump’s ire during his presidency for failing to meet the 2% target. But Berlin announced plans to boost military spending after the massive invasion of Ukraine and plans to meet the benchmark this year. The French military budget has grown in recent years and has reached the level of approximately 2% of GDP. Tusk returned to power in December as prime minister of Poland, his central European nation, after eight years of rule by a national conservative government that often took an antagonistic stance toward European allies, especially Germany. As a result, Warsaw’s influence in Europe declined. Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski noted on Monday that he and his French and German counterparts are meeting at a dramatic but also solemn moment. Russian President Vladimir Putin must not win this war. We must fulfill our obligations to Ukraine.” French Foreign Minister Stphane Sjourn commented: “Every minute counts to prepare the Europeans to absorb the shock of a scenario well described by Donald Trump. The Weimar Triangle was created in 1991, as Poland emerged from decades of communism, as a platform for political cooperation between the three nations.

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