THE WORLD

Polish Foreign Minister calls for long-term rearmament of Europe

Radoslaw sikorski

Radoslaw sikorski

Photo: Associated Press

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said that a long-term rearmament of Europe, in which Great Britain can play the closest possible role, is necessary to defeat Russian imperial ambitions.

In an interview with The Guardian on Saturday, Sikorski said Poland supports Ukraine's right to strike military targets inside Russia, arguing that the West should stop constantly limiting itself in what it does to support Ukraine. 

Sikorski, educated at Oxford University alongside David Cameron, was in London for a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Secretary. Sikorski has been a critical figure in bringing Poland back into the mainstream of European foreign policy since elections last October led to a new coalition government and an end to eight years of rule by the right-wing nationalist Law and Justice party.

He had just come from a meeting in Berlin with the foreign ministers of France and Germany, in the so-called Weimar triangle format, a grouping now seen as the EU's new political powerhouse.

Although he said Russia was reaping small victories in Ukraine, the Weimar group backed an effort to fill the huge gaps in the EU's defense capabilities that formed at the end of the Cold War.

"It is clear that Europe is lagging behind and the defense and technological and industrial base of the EU has been suffering from lack of investment for years," said Sikorski. 

He admitted that European defense manufacturers still do not feel that the process of rearmament was permanent as he added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is spending 40% of GDP on defense, stating that he would bankrupt his country by starved the army for resources. 

"Europe was not only disarmed, but deindustrialized in the field of defense," Sikorski declared.