Thursday, 23 March 2017

MfD: EU should become a nuclear power

ČTK |
13 February 2017

Prague, Feb 11 (CTK) - The development of trans-Atlantic relations may be unpredictable due to new U.S. President Donald Trump and the European Union should get ready for it and become a nuclear power, Lubos Palata wrote in daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) on Saturday.

Even if the EU tries hard, the present level of the trans-Atlantic relations need not be maintained. Let us hope that this will not happen, but the first steps of Trump and his administration show that one can never know, he says.

If the US-EU relations are not maintained, the space of freedom and democracy will be at stake, and possibly also war and peace, especially in connection with the EU's aggressive neighbour, the Russian nuclear power, Palata writes.

He says Poland, which realises the threat coming from Russia more than any other European country, wants nuclear weapons for the EU.

The Polish right-wing populist government, which had a very reserved stance on Germany and the EU for more than a year, made a U-turn in its position. This has two main reasons. The United Kingdom, which seemed to Warsaw to be its closest ally in Europe, is leaving the EU. And the U.S. involvement in Central and East Europe is very uncertain, Palata writes.

On Thursday, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski talked in support of Germany and the EU, only repeating the order issued by Poland's unofficial ruler, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who recently met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he writes.

Kaczynski considers a radical reinforcement of the EU military power to be the main security guarantee for his country. He asked a question that was not presented openly until then: should the EU become a nuclear power that would be capable of nuclear deterrence of Russia? Palata writes.

He says this should not be an unrealistic ambition for a bloc with half a billion inhabitants.

But the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is an obstacle to this. Moreover, Europe has no united army, which would be a precondition of the nuclear arsenal. There is nevertheless a solution which has been used in NATO, or the system of sharing nuclear weapons, Palata writes.

Thanks to this system, countries without nuclear weapons can include the use of nuclear weapons by its own military units. At present, Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands "share" U.S. nuclear weapons. When one of these countries was considering removing this system, Poland offered to place the nuclear weapons in its territory, Palata writes.

No new systems need to be made up and the best functioning present structures, NATO, can be used. Weapons of the third biggest nuclear power, France, can join the nuclear sharing system, he says.

The EU countries interested in nuclear sharing could contribute to the expensive development and production of French nuclear weapons in return. This step would be aimed neither against the USA and its role in NATO nor against Britain that wants to only keep its military alliance with the EU, Palata writes.

This step would clearly tell Russia of Vladimir Putin to give up its imperial ambition, he indicates.

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