Russian aggression prompts Europe's ‘strategic awakening’, says Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hands with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda (L) next to Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides during the EU leaders' summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 21, 2024
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) shakes hands with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda (L) next to Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides during the EU leaders' summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 21, 2024

“Russian attacks against Ukraine trigger strategic awakening in Europe,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in May 2 interview with The Economist.

“This awakening is taking place in multiple ways,“ said Macron.

“Today, we witness it through Germany's capability proposal for the European missile-defense shield and Poland's readiness to host NATO nuclear weapons,” he said, urging Europeans “to get round the table and build a coherent framework.”

“As Europeans, we must determine how to effectively defend our territory and ensure security for all member states, including those on Europe's eastern border, in a credible and sustainable way.”

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Macron believes NATO offers a solution, stressing there's "no question" of dismissing the Alliance.

“I am in favor of discussions within the European Political Community framework. It involves all European countries, including EU member states, with existing cooperation arrangements, including bilateral ones like the significant one with the United Kingdom through the Lancaster House treaties.”

Earlier, on Feb. 26, Macon said that Ukraine’s allies were creating a coalition to provide long-range weapons to Ukraine and also suggested the possibility to deploy Western troops to Ukraine in future.

Later, Germany announced the launch of a global initiative to strengthen Ukraine's Air Defense. The Netherlands and Denmark are also considering financial support for this initiative.

On April 13, Germany announced that it would provide Ukraine with an additional Patriot battery to repel Russian airstrikes.

On April 17, Dutch PM, Mark Rutte, stated that the European Union could buy Patriot systems from countries that own them, but are unwilling to transfer them to Ukraine.

On April 23, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said that Ukraine and the United States are negotiating to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with four Patriot systems from several countries.

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