Turkey's Erdogan Says Creation of EU Army Not Project That Can Be Implemented
19:43 GMT 31.10.2021 (Updated: 16:55 GMT 14.11.2022)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The creation of an EU army is not a project that can be implemented, as many EU member states are also NATO members and do not support the idea, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
"This is not a project that can be materialized, it is not possible because ... many EU member states are also NATO members, most do not think positive about such an establishment," Erdogan told reporters following the G20 meeting in Rome.
In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron urged creation of a joint European military in order to better counter global challenges and end the bloc's dependency on the United States for defense.
The proposal was put on the table at a low ebb in EU-US relations during the Donald Trump presidency. One of the former US president's complaints was that NATO's European members were not paying the necessary 2% of their GDP on defense.
Trump's criticism heightened tensions between the US and NATO member states, while relations with Turkey also deteriorated after Ankara began accepting deliveries of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system. In response, Washington expelled Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet program.
29 September 2021, 00:19 GMT
In November last year, Macron told The Economist magazine that there was hardly any security cooperation between the US and other NATO members, essentially leaving the alliance in a state of “brain death.” In response, Trump said that the French leader’s comments were disrespectful and insulting and that the US benefits the least from the alliance, citing Washington’s large financial contributions.
However, Nabila Massrali, the EU foreign affairs and security policy spokesperson, said last month that the bloc was not currently considering the creation of a joint army.