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Protection from Putin: Finally strengthen Europe’s military! (Opinion)

Protection from Putin: Finally strengthen Europe’s military!  (Opinion)

While Germany is once again arguing over Taurus deliveries, Vladimir Putin is threatening to use his nuclear arsenal. Should Europe therefore hold back militarily? No, says our author. On the contrary.

In Lithuania people don’t understand Germans. One wonders why they are so hesitant when it comes to supplying arms to Ukraine. The fear of an escalation of the war in Ukraine is paralyzing the Germans, that is the impression here. Just don’t provoke Putin! His statements that Russia was prepared to use nuclear weapons apparently motivated German politicians and citizens to speak out even more strongly against arms deliveries and a strong defense.

This stuns Lithuanians. You know the Russians, they say, have suffered for decades under Soviet occupation. Their warning to Europe: “The Russians are criminals, they cannot be trusted! We know it!” The annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 proved them right. And yet years of warnings continue to fall silent to this day.

Disarmament helps Putin

What else does it take for Germany and Europe to finally listen to the Lithuanians and the other Baltic states? What has to happen so that the eternal procrastinators, the timid, the reserved in the EU come to the conclusion that they need to significantly increase support for Ukraine? This is the only way to prevent Russia from winning in Ukraine.

Above all, the rest of Europe should listen to the Balts when it comes to strengthening defenses. Putin knows when a state is weak. On a psychological level, it is understandable that governments in Europe do not want to provoke the Russian power apparatus with arms deliveries or rearmament. But in terms of real politics, ducking turned out to be a wrong move.

No more appeasement, no more military self-castration.

If we do not want Russia to attack NATO or even us, Europe must strengthen its military capabilities. Only a powerful defense will put Putin in his place and stop his imperialism.

The Trump argument

The knee-jerk counter-argument that armament would only encourage Putin to attack is wrong. Because anyone who seriously thinks about taking it to the end would have to go even further and demand less military and arms deliveries, and basically: initiate a rapprochement with Moscow.

That’s exactly what Putin wants. He sows doubt with his threats, he calculates the hesitation and reluctance in our minds. Moscow has absolutely no interest in a militarily strong Europe because it knows that it cannot compete against it. That’s why Russia wants to keep the European armies small. It is, even before the war of weapons, a war of words. The smarter one upgrades.

There is another good reason for a strong European military: the US elections in November. The chances are good that Donald Trump will move back into the Oval Office – and we know that he is just as unpredictable as Putin. His statements about not supporting NATO states that spend too little on defense should be warning enough for us. If Trump also withdraws support from Ukraine, then goodnight.

Report from Kaliningrad: Reporter talks to residents about sanctions

Let’s finally listen to the Balts!

What those with concerns and warning voices do not want to understand is that strengthening Europe’s military capabilities does not automatically mean that they will also be used preventively. Germany and Europe want to deter Russia so that an escalation does not occur in the first place. And if they do, they should prevent us from being hit too hard or even being overrun.

It is in all of our interests to stop Putin. And that’s why it’s time to listen to those who have experienced the Russian threat firsthand. It is time to increase support for Ukraine and the defense of Europe. It is time to show Putin his limits and take a strong, decisive stance.

In short: It is time to finally listen to the Lithuanians, the Balts and the Poles. They have long since understood the seriousness of the situation.

Source: Stern

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