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Submitted by JP on Fri, 03/29/2024 - 12:07
Polish PM Donald Tusk: ‘We are in a pre-war era. I don’t exaggerate’

The Polish Prime Minister warned that Europe was back in the "pre-war era" and must prepare for self-defense. ‘I don’t exaggerate. This is becoming more and more apparent every day’ - Donald Tusk said. ‘The next two years will decide everything’ - he added.

In the picture (left to right): Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and outgoing Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa during the second day of the European Council in Brussels, March 22, 2024. European Union leaders met then to discuss, among other things, forms of further support for Ukraine, which is fighting Russia. Photo by OLIVIER HOSLET/PAP/EPA

‘At the last European Council I had an interesting discussion with the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. He asked us to stop using the word “war” in statements. He argued that people do not want to be threatened in this way, that in Spain it sounds abstract. I replied that in my part of Europe, war is no longer an abstraction — and that our duty is not to discuss, but to act and prepare to defend ourselves’ - Polish Prime Minister said In an interview published by several European newspapers.

“I remember a photo from my childhood that hung in my family’s house. It showed Sopot beach [near Gdansk on the Baltic coast] full of laughing people. It was taken on August 31, 1939. A few hours later the Second World War began 5km away. I know it sounds devastating, especially for the younger generation, but we have to get used to the fact that a new era has begun: the pre-war period. I’m not exaggerating: it gets clearer every day.” - Donald Tusk said. 

"What is currently most disturbing is the fact that literally any scenario is possible. We have not had a situation like this since 1945. I know it sounds devastating, especially to people of the younger generation, but we have to mentally get used to a new era. We are in a pre-war era. I don’t exaggerate. This is becoming more and more apparent every day," said the head of government in Warsaw, warning that the current situation is very similar to the uncertainty of 1939.

"There is no reason for Europeans not to respect the fundamental principle [of NATO] and spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on defense. We can discuss European arms bonds and more involvement of the European Investment Bank. We have to spend as much as we can to buy equipment and ammunition for Ukraine, because we are living in the most critical moment since the end of the Second World War. The next two years will decide everything. If we cannot support Ukraine with enough equipment and ammunition, if Ukraine loses, no one in Europe will be able to feel safe," warned the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, critically assessing the policy of the government in Budapest in this regard.

"I think I will find arguments that will convince Orbán that he should cooperate better in supporting Ukraine. This is also possible with Slovakia. Prime Minister Robert Fico is a very pragmatic politician," Prime Minister Donald Tusk emphasized in an interview, explaining that although for European security, the most important thing is understanding and cooperation between France, Germany and Poland, his government will also try to improve relations with the leaders of other Visegrad Group countries.