Having specifically aimed his call for a unified European Army at "reacting credibly to show Russia that Europe is serious about defending its values," it is no surprise that Russia has responded to Jean-Claude Juncker's statements. As TASS reports, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, Frants Klintsevich, told the media on Sunday that "in the nuclear age extra armies do not provide any additional security. But they surely can play a provocative role," adding it was regrettable that such ideas had already met with some support.
Juncker took a swing...
The president of the European Commission has called for the creation of an EU army in order to show Russia “that we are serious about defending European values”.
In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the EU’s executive arm, said an EU army would let the continent “react credibly to threats to peace in a member state or a neighbour of the EU”.
Mr Juncker said an EU army would “help us to develop a common foreign and security policy, and to fulfil Europe’s responsibilities in the world”. Nato was not a sufficient protection for the EU as not all EU members are part of the alliance, according to Mr Juncker.
The Germans are all for it...
“I support Juncker in building an EU army, if it means the termination of all EU member states’ armies and is controlled by the European Parliament,” tweeted Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green MEP.
Furthermore, German Defense Minister von der Leyen went so far as to note, "I think what is most important, it shows up in Europe, 70 years after the Second World War - and 70 years ago we were mortal enemies - that today the peace in Europe, in the European Union stands on firm footing, and we Step by step, more and more firmly establish our alliances, especially in the security policy. This interweaving of armies with a view to provide also have a European army one day, in my opinion, is the future."
And the Russians respond... (via TASS)
The European Union’s common armed forces, if they are ever created, may play a provocative role, first deputy chairman of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, Frants Klintsevich, told the media on Sunday.
"In the nuclear age extra armies do not provide any additional security. But they surely can play a provocative role," Klintsevich said, adding it was regrettable that such ideas had already met with some support.
He recalled that the idea of creating a European army had never occurred to anyone even in the years of the acute confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization.
"These days, when the Warsaw Treaty is long gone, for some reason there has developed a need for that," he wondered.
"One should presume that a European army is seen as an addendum to NATO. And in this kind of situation Western politicians are not shy to accuse Russia of some aggressiveness," Klintsevich said.
* * *
It appears the Russians played the "don't bring an 'army' to a nuclear 'gun fight'" card... how long until Juncker (who even David Cameron said was "too federalist" to be EU President) calls for the creation of a European-Union-managed nuclear deterrent.