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Submitted by JP on Wed, 04/03/2024 - 12:49
Polish, German, French FM’s in Politico: 'This moment may define our children’s future'
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To mark the 75th anniversary on NATO, the foreign ministers of France, Germany, and Poland co-authored an op-ed, celebrating NATO as “the most successful defense alliance in history” and playing up the stakes of the war in Ukraine. „European allies should shoulder their fair share of NATO’s collective burden and demonstrate readiness to take more responsibility for Europe’s defense,” the foreign ministers wrote in Politico.

Polish soldiers crossed the Vistula with tanks during the NATO military defense exercise DRAGON-24, March 4, 2024 in Korzeniewo, Poland. Photo by AA/ABACA/PAP/Abaca

Sikorski, Baerbock, and Sejourne said that Russian aggression on Ukraine, which started in 2022, was also an attack on “the European peace order itself” and warned that the “imperial ambition” of Russian President Vladimir Putin “reaches far beyond Ukraine.” “His full-scale invasion of Ukraine has also proven that a policy of concessions vis-à-vis Russia, in the hopes that it could bring peace or stability back to the Continent, is naive,” the foreign ministers wrote.

The foreign ministers added that “while celebrating NATO’s anniversary, we must not turn complacent. Rather, we must live up to the fact that this moment may define the future our children will live in”. 

Heads of diplomacy of Poland, Germany and France also said that European and American military support, estimated at over EUR 200 billion to date, will be prolonged “for as long as it takes and as intensively as needed.”

Sikorski, Baerbock, and Sejourne urged the allies to assume a larger share of collective defense duties, relieving the U.S. of primary responsibility. To achieve this, they emphasized the importance of committing at least 2% of GDP to defense expenditure. “Second, we need to utilize our Continent’s full industrial potential to upgrade our military capabilities, ramp up production and harvest economies of scale. Our national defense industries are key to this. They need binding long-term contracts — with clear timelines, a level of ambition, fixed financial commitments and purchase guarantees from our governments. Third, we need to invest in future technologies to maintain our technological edge and close capability gaps” - the ministers said.