The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, yesterday defended the need for a “coordinated rearmament” of the European Union to prepare the community bloc for a possible war.
“We need a process of rearmament that is done in a coordinated way (…). My task is to plan this military development”, Borrell explained during his speech at the La Toja Forum in Galicia, reports Europa Press.
For Borrell, “every cloud has a silver lining” in reference to the war in Ukraine: the EU must “integrate war into its existential horizon and integrate the armed forces”.
European armies now have “duplicities and redundancies”. “We spend four times what Russia spends and the same as China spends, and probably less efficiently”, he argued.
Borrell stressed that the EU has been built on the basis of trade and law, but “wanted to obviate the concept of power” by entrusting it to interdependence in trade relations, citing the purchase of Russian gas as an example.
“Today we realise that interdependence alone does not guarantee peace (…). Too much Kant and not enough Hobbes,” he said, referring to the two philosophers. “We are now realising that unity built on convoluted agreements is not enough,” he remarked.
“We live in a dangerous world. We live in a garden surrounded by jungle. It is not enough to build protective worlds. We have to engage more with the jungle,” he said. In this sense, “military instruments are not a whim”. “They are necessary, indispensable for survival”, he stressed.
Therefore, according to Borell, in the specific case of Ukraine, the EU “has to do more of the same: more military aid, more sanctions against Russia and more diplomatic work to convince the world”.
With regard to the injection of funds into Ukraine, he recalled that 2.5 billion has been allocated in military aid, “something that could not be done according to the treaties”, and pointed out that each state on its own has contributed more funding, reaching “half of what the United States gives”.
Borrell also criticised the “invalid” referendums on annexation to the Russian Federation in the eastern regions of Ukraine. They are votes “held overnight, in the middle of a country at war, without censuses or guarantees”. They are a “pantomime”, he said.
The head of European diplomacy pointed out that “it takes two to trade, but one is enough to make war, and that one is willing to do it and has done it”. However, for Borrell, “Russia has already lost the war in moral and political terms, but Ukraine has not yet won it”.
“The war has to end well in order to build peace. The war has to end with Ukraine being able to defend its territorial integrity and recover it, and with Russia recognising its moral guilt. We cannot ask for less, we cannot waver because it is not Ukraine’s territorial integrity that is at stake. What is at stake is our way of life,” he warned.
Borrell compared Russia to the Italian economy in global terms, although GDP per capita is four times smaller. “Russia is an economic dwarf, a big gas station where the owner has nuclear weapons,” he said.
The High Representative focused on Russia’s “resentment” of the West and compared it to China, noting that the country “knows very well that it has to have the weapons of economics and technology first. They are doing that and doing it very well”.
“Russia has not achieved this and is now trying to achieve it through armed violence. When military failure follows economic failure, what will happen to Russia,” he asked, before recalling that it has nuclear weapons.