Polish PM: Europe is back in a 'pre-war era'

Credit: AP

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has warned that Europe is in a “pre-war era” but still has a “long way to go” before its ready to confront the threat posed by Russia. “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. We haven’t seen a situation like this since 1945,” Mr Tusk said in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt published on Friday.

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“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’m not exaggerating; it’s becoming clearer every day.” Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, European leaders and military officials have grown increasingly concerned that the conflict could spill over into other countries on its border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied that Russia intends to attack NATO countries. Russia’s war upended the post-Cold War geopolitical order, forcing Europe to take seriously its own defence after decades of dwindling military budgets and prompting countries on its border to take more drastic measures. Sweden and Finland recently joined NATO, which until two years ago would have been unthinkable for the two famously neutral Scandinavian countries.

In the Baltics, Estonia and Lithuania have bolstered their defence budgets far above NATO’s minimum commitment of 2% of GDP.

Meanwhile Moldova, which borders Ukraine and has long been vulnerable to Russian meddling, is on an accelerated path to the European Union.

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