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Poland, Greece urge EU to create common air defence shield

24.05.2024 15:00
Poland and Greece have jointly appealed to the European Commission to create a Europe-wide air defence shield, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (right) and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis (left) meet in Warsaw on Friday, April 12, 2024.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (right) and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis (left) meet in Warsaw on Friday, April 12, 2024.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Speaking in a media interview on Thursday, Tusk said that he and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis had sent a letter to Brussels urging the creation of a common European air shield.

The initiative aims to provide the bloc’s airspace with protection from threats including aircraft, missiles and drones, news outlets reported.

"I sent a letter to the European Commission, together with Prime Minister Mitsotakis, regarding a common European defence policy," Tusk said during an interview with Polish public broadcaster TVP Info on Thursday evening.

"There is already a very positive reaction from the European Commission to make anti-missile air defence a common task for Europe, because it is a huge amount of money," he added.

He also said that European countries should stop competing while creating their air defence systems and start working together, including on joint investment projects in the defence industry, the Reuters news agency reported.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on the X social media platform on Thursday that Europe needs "less fragmentation" and more "common projects--like an air defence shield as proposed by Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Donald Tusk."

The two leaders warned in their message that the European Union needs a "bold initiative" to show its "friends and foes" that it is "taking its air defence seriously," the Euronews website reported.

"Europe will be safe as long as the skies over it are safe," Tusk and Mitsotakis said in their joint letter

They added: "We must develop a highly capable air defence system which will act as a credible deterrent against all possible aggressors. Which will act as a shield for our citizens and military forces, in case deterrence fails - thereby protecting all member states of the EU and all European citizens."

Tusk told TVP Info on Thursday that "only a strong, united Europe that pursues a common defence policy... will be able to prevent war."

He said: "We are preparing for war not because this war is going to happen, but so that it won't happen."

In April, Tusk and Mitsotakis met in Warsaw to discuss future EU strategies and defense collaboration.

They said at the time that Poland and Greece were aligned in their approach to the future of the EU, focusing on immediate actions to secure European defense capabilities and discussing the formation of a joint defense fund.

Tusk told reporters after his talks with Mitsotakis that "Europe must become a significant political and military force if we want to feel safe on our continent."


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, TVP Info, euronews.com