Europe must take charge of its own defense, French minister says

The French armed forces have been gearing up for a strategic change over the last ten years

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Mandiner
French Defense Minister Florence Parly speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

According to French Defense Minister Florence Party, the war in Ukraine is a historic moment for Europe, in which it will either prevail or cease to exist.

“We are in favor of the strong measures taken for unity in recent days, and France will continue to play a leading role in this European action,” the head of ministry said in a debate in the National Assembly on the Russian war against Ukraine on Tuesday.

Four French fighter jets arrive in Estonia with a hundred pilots

“We have created a Europe of defense, and thanks to an action such as the European Peace Facility, we are now able to respond quickly and vigorously to an unprecedented situation,” said Florence Parly. The minister announced that the government is bringing forward a planned French troop reinforcement in the Baltic states, originally intended for mid-March.

Four Mirage 2000 fighter jets arrive in Estonia with about a hundred pilots. And two Rafale planes have been operating daily reconnaissance flights from France since Feb. 24.

“These planes are patrolling the airspace of Eastern Europe,” the minister said, adding that 200 mountain rangers are also joining the Danish and British allies in Estonia. And 500 soldiers and their armored vehicles are reported to arrive in Romania this week.

The French army has been preparing for a major strategic shift for more than a decade

“The current crisis has suddenly made our public realize that war is not something about asymmetric conflicts on remote battlefields,” she said. “The threats made to us by Vladimir Putin are evidence that our security is being decided directly in Europe, and this finding is not new to the Ministry of Defense,” he added.

The head of the ministry stressed that the French Army has been preparing for a major strategic shift for more than ten years due to the threat of more difficult conflicts. The paradigm shift caused by the war in Ukraine will require the adaptation of soldiers’ preparedness to intervene, as well as investment in new conflict areas such as the space, the Internet, the deep sea, as well as a focus on the modernization of equipment, she added.

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