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EU must ‘wake up’ to security threats


The European Union must urgently “wake up” to a growing security threat, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said.

During an address this morning to the European Parliament, Ms von der Leyen said that the union must “turbo charge” its defence capacity and “start talking” about European security architecture.

There can be “no more illusions” around European security, she told MEPs.

The threat of war is not imminent, but is not impossible either, she said.

During a debate on security and defence in the parliament, Ms von der Leyen committed to establishing a new dedicated Defence Commissioner portfolio in the next commission.

She has stated previously that she will seek a second term as president of the commission.

Ursula von der Leyen said it was time to start talking about using windfall profits from seized Russian assets to fund assistance to Ukraine.

“There could be no stronger symbol and no greater use for that money than to make Ukraine and all of Europe a safer place to live.”

Ms von der Leyen’s comments come as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is due to meet with Balkan leaders in Albania, seeking to keep support and weapons flowing to Kyiv as Russia makes gains on the battlefield two years after invading its neighbour.

She concluded her address by telling the parliament that the EU does not have time to “skirt around the issue”, adding that the cost of a Russian victory in Ukraine is too great.


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