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Member state calls for EU ‘heavy brigade’

The bloc must be able to react to “emergencies” without relying on the US, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said

The EU must create a special “heavy brigade” that would allow the bloc to respond quickly to events in neighboring regions, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in an interview with TVP World published on Tuesday.   

The diplomat argued that the EU must bolster its civil and cybersecurity defenses, and should also create a new force to respond to emergencies without having to rely on NATO or the US.  

“I’m in favor of a heavy brigade EU rapid reaction capacity so that we don’t have to call on the resources of the US for every emergency on our periphery, such as some lower order issue in the Balkans or in North Africa,” Sikorski said.  

He noted that this proposal is already among the European Parliament’s recommendations, and that member states are in the process of forming a rapid deployment force. This new capability is set to be operational in the next two or three years, Sikorski added.  

Earlier this year, the Polish diplomat suggested that an EU response force should be created in addition to member states’ national armies, in order to counter the supposed threat of a Russian attack on the bloc.  

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has claimed that Europe is in a “pre-war era,” while President Andrzej Duda has expressed the country’s readiness to host US nuclear weapons under NATO’s nuclear-sharing program.  

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Sikorski also recently insisted that Russia should “fear” a clash with the West, and that “it is worth reminding [people] about this” to show that an attack on any NATO member would end in defeat for Moscow.  

Russia, however, has repeatedly denied having any plans to attack other European nations. Moscow has decried the rhetoric coming from EU members such as Poland, particularly regarding the potential deployment of nuclear weapons.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin has insisted that claims of a potential invasion are merely government propaganda aimed at scaring EU citizens “to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden [of funding Ukraine] on their shoulders.”

May 02, 2024 at 04:52PM

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