The EU can’t shield Europe alone in opposition to threats from terrorism, Russia

NATO Secretary Common Jens Stoltenberg warned in opposition to any try and “divide Europe from North America” ​​and mentioned the European Union “can’t defend” the continent by itself. within the face of the specter of terrorism and Russia’s “destabilizing habits”.

“Any try and divide Europe from North America is not going to solely weaken NATO, however it’ll additionally divide Europe.” he mentioned in a speech to the School of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, on March 4.

“So I do not consider in Europe alone, nor in North America alone. I consider in North America and Europe collectively, in NATO, in strategic solidarity. No matter challenges we face, we’re stronger collectively, ”he added.

Stoltenberg, in a separate interview with AFP, added that whereas he welcomed Brussels’ efforts to extend spending and rationalize its protection business, he doubted requires Europe to develop “strategic autonomy” of the sort pushed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“I help the EU’s protection efforts, as a result of extra protection spending, new navy capabilities and the struggle in opposition to the fragmentation of the European protection business – all of this will probably be good for European safety, for transatlantic safety, for all of us, ”he mentioned. AFP.

“So all these efforts – so long as they complement NATO – we welcome them, however the EU can’t defend Europe.”

In his speech, he mentioned {that a} robust transatlantic bond is the “basis” of Europe’s safety.

“For greater than 70 years, NATO has embodied this distinctive relationship. Our alliance is the one place that brings North America and Europe collectively daily to debate frequent safety challenges, ”he mentioned.

“Greater than 90 % of the individuals of the European Union stay in a NATO nation. However solely 20 % of NATO protection spending comes from EU NATO members,” mentioned Stoltenberg.

Former US President Donald Trump had strained relations with European NATO members, claiming they weren’t doing sufficient for their very own protection, leaving US taxpayers to foot the invoice and typically questioning the relevance of the long-standing alliance.

Nonetheless, President Joe Biden referred to as for nearer cooperation with NATO allies and is seen as a a lot friendlier accomplice for Europe, though he has additionally expressed the necessity for Europe to respect its expenditure commitments. Biden is predicted to attend a summit of NATO nations later this yr.

Stoltenberg cited NATO’s renewed significance within the face of Russia’s “brutal types of terrorism” and “destabilizing habits”.

“By means of the US-led International Coalition to Defeat ISIS (Islamic State), we’ve got helped liberate huge land and thousands and thousands of individuals in Iraq and Syria.

“Following Russia’s unlawful annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO carried out the best strengthening of our collective protection in a era. Deploy combat-ready troops within the japanese a part of our alliance, to discourage any aggression, ”he mentioned.

“This try and redraw the borders by pressure, as we’ve got seen in Ukraine and Crimea, occurred just a few years in the past”, making the necessity to forestall conflicts and defend Europe “very actual, ”he mentioned.

With AFP report

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