"This is an existential question": France and Germany urge EU to be ready for a Russian attack
In Europe, the threat of a Russian attack on the European Union member states has been raised more and more frequently in recent years. In particular, officials, politicians and military leaders from France and Germany have spoken out on this issue. They call on EU states to be prepared for possible aggression against them by Russia.
French Foreign and European Minister Stéphane Séjourné said this in an interview with several Western publications, the newspaper Ouest-France reports. He noted that European countries should invest in their defense more. France has already begun to increase military investments.
"If this topic is existential for the European Union, it means that our collective security depends on it. In the current geopolitical context, it is in our interest to ask ourselves the right questions. To have military budgets that allow us to withstand the threat. To organize our European defense in a more coherent way," the diplomat said.
Séjourné added that all 27 EU countries should agree to further combine military equipment, establish cooperation between armies and gradually ensure greater military integration, in particular in industrial and operational matters.
"Yes, this is an existential topic, and we, as Europeans, have to find security guarantees. This is undoubtedly part of our European sovereignty agenda," the minister emphasized.
He also noted that the war in Ukraine "makes possible many things that seemed impossible." This includes joint purchases of ammunition, missiles, and soon European military equipment.
Meanwhile, Bundeswehr Inspector General Carsten Breuer said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag that Germany and other NATO member states should be prepared for a possible war with Russia in five years. In his opinion, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin will not limit himself to Ukraine.
Breuer emphasized that European countries need not only to strengthen their armies but also to change their mentality.
"We need a change of mindset in society and, above all, in the Bundeswehr. The military commander called deterrence important, which means the ability to defend oneself and thus make the risk of attack so high that the enemy decides to abandon it," the article says.
The head of the Munich Security Conference, Christoph Heusgen, also said that the possibility of a Russian attack on a NATO member state cannot be ruled out. In his opinion, Moldova or the Baltic states could become Russia's next targets.
"After all, Putin has repeatedly said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century because it left many Russians outside of Russia. Putin sought to restore a Greater Russia within the borders of the defunct Soviet Union, a global empire in which he would rule as a tsar," Heusgen said.