The day after a controversial speech on potential Russian aggression towards a NATO country, former American President Donald Trump is strongly criticized by several international officials.
“No one should play with the security of Europe.” The remarks made on Saturday February 10 during a meeting in South Carolina by Donald Trump did not pass muster. The former American president, the big Republican favorite for the next presidential election, affirmed that he would “encourage” Russia to attack NATO countries if they did not pay their share.
The 77-year-old billionaire reported a conversation he had with one of the NATO heads of state, without naming him.
“One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?'” he said ex-Republican president before revealing his response: “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do what they want. You have to pay your bills.”
Donald Trump regularly criticizes the allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for not keeping their commitments in terms of military spending. During the campaign, he had already threatened several times to leave NATO if he returned to the White House.
His future opponent in November, Joe Biden, denounced the “distressing and dangerous” comments made by his rival. For the Democrat, they clearly signified “his desire to abandon America’s NATO allies in the event of a Russian attack.”
“For Donald Trump to admit that he plans to give Putin the green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault on a free Ukraine and to extend his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic states is distressing and dangerous,” Joe Biden said in a statement.
“Unfortunately,” these remarks “are predictable coming from a man who promised to govern like a dictator, like those he praises, from the first day of his return to the Oval Office,” he said. added.
Europe is on a roll
For the President of the European Council Charles Michel, “reckless declarations on NATO security and the solidarity of Article 5 only serve Putin’s interests” and “bring neither more security nor more peace in the world”.
Article 5 states that if a NATO country is the victim of an armed attack, each member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack directed against all members and will take the measures it deemed necessary to come to the aid of the attacked country.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned against comments that “undermine our security”.
“Any suggestion that Allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the United States, and places American and European soldiers at increased risk,” he said.
“Let’s be serious! Let’s be serious! NATO cannot be an à la carte alliance,” said Josep Borrell before an EU ministerial meeting in Brussels.
Paris, Berlin and Warsaw speak with one voice
This Monday, welcoming Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to Paris, insisted on the need to “strengthen” the European defense industry, in particular to “provide strategic equipment and munitions to Ukraine” in the face of The Russian invasion launched almost two years ago.
“This is what will also make it possible to make Europe a security and defense power complementary to NATO, the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance,” he added.
The head of French diplomacy defended defense Europe which would be a “second life insurance” complementary to NATO. “We need a second life insurance, not as a replacement, not against NATO but in addition” to this organization, indicated Stéphane Séjourné during a joint press conference with his German and Polish counterparts.
For his part, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz deemed Donald Trump’s recent statements “irresponsible” and “dangerous”.
“Any downplaying of NATO’s guarantee of assistance is irresponsible and dangerous, and only serves Russia’s interests,” Olaf Scholz said. “No one should play with the security of Europe,” he added.