Lithuania took the air out of French President Macron’s European defense force balloon this week, saying nothing is secure about European defense without the United States military.
“All Baltic states are very clear that the United States’ involvement in our collective defense system is a critical factor and we can hardly imagine our 100 percent security without the United States’ involvement,” the Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told journalists in Rukla on Tuesday, reported The Baltic Times.
In his words, Lithuania does not see the aspiration for Europe’s strategic autonomy as “some sort of competition with the US’s involvement in NATO activity”.
“Lithuania sees it as NATO capability’s complementary factor, and in no way there can be any opposition or competition between these two things as, otherwise, NATO’s ability to properly do its mission would be affected,” he said.
The comments were mostly likely aimed at French President Macron and his desire for a European defense force.
“European defense is a phrase one could not utter five or ten years ago. We imagined that we can put our defense into the hands of NATO, but now we have already established a fund for the implementation of joint programs and we have structural cooperation on defense,” Macron said.
“We cannot always rely on the power that is on the other side of the Atlantic, which is probably focusing more on China and cannot give us so much attention. Therefore, it’s very important for us to be able to protect ourselves,” the French leader said.
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