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Warning that ‘new era of war’ has begun in Europe

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over two years ago has heralded a new, war-like era in Europe, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says.

A Ukrainian soldier rests in a trench in the Donetsk region. With a lack of ammunition and military personnel, Ukraine is having a hard time on its frontline as the war between Ukraine and Russia continues. Photo by Ashley Chan / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

A Ukrainian soldier rests in a trench in the Donetsk region. With a lack of ammunition and military personnel, Ukraine is having a hard time on its frontline as the war between Ukraine and Russia continues. Photo by Ashley Chan / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

“I know it sounds devastating, especially for the younger generation, but we have to get used to the fact that a new era has begun: the pre-war era. I am not exaggerating; this is becoming clearer every day,” he told German newspaper Die Welt and European partner media.

“I don’t want to scare anyone, but war is no longer a concept from the past. It is real, and it started over two years ago.”

The most worrying thing at the moment is that literally any scenario is possible, Tusk said.

“We haven’t seen a situation like this since 1945.” In that year, World War II came to an end with the surrender of Hitler’s Germany.

At the same time, Tusk said that he was observing a revolution in the European mentality. Nobody was questioning the need for common defence anymore.

“Take a look at Germany, where a huge turnaround has taken place. Today, the CDU and SPD are competing to see which of them is more pro-Ukrainian.”

Tusk also called for more consistent protection of the EU’s external borders.

“The European Union as a whole, as a powerful organisation, must be mentally prepared to fight for the security of our borders and our territory,”  he said.

Tusk’s comments have been echoed by Germany’s Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck.

Habeck said he sees no hope of a quick and peaceful end to the Russian war against Ukraine.

“We long for peace. Yes. But the honest, bitter answer is: there will probably not be a quick, good end, even if we wish otherwise,” he said in a video published on the X platform, formerly Twitter.

“We have to adapt to the threat situation. Anything else would be naive,” he said. Germany would therefore be well advised to invest more in its own security.

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“We, Germany, the European Union, must protect ourselves all round, including from military attacks,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine is the bloodiest that Europe has seen since 1945.

“Every day is a day of death, and there is no end in sight. On the contrary, Putin’s Russia is switching completely to a war economy and massively increasing weapons production,” Habeck said.

There have been arguments in Germany in recent weeks about the nature and extent of support for Ukraine, “some of them bitter and some of them hurtful,” he said.

With his Easter video, the vice chancellor wants to try to sort out the arguments and evaluate them.

“I spoke out in favour of supplying weapons to Ukraine early on, and I am still in favour of us continuing to support them with more and more military equipment,” Habeck said.

However, he has respect for a position that comes to a different conclusion than he does on the subject of arms deliveries to Ukraine for principled moral reasons or religious convictions.

“I also understand only too well that people are afraid of an escalation of the war. I am also worried.”

Habeck spoke out against “freezing the war.”

“As much as I understand that there is talk of freezing the war in view of the high number of victims, this position ignores the fact that only the Ukrainians can decide what price they are willing to pay and on what terms they want to achieve a ceasefire or end the war,” he said.

– AAP

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