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    German army tanks line up during the course of the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland, June 2015. The German military has seen an increase in deployments for exercises in Eastern Europe and on Russia's borders since the start of the Ukrainian crisis in February 2014.

    French PM Calls for Creation of Independent European Defense System

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    French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Tuesday for the establishment of a European defense system to guarantee Europe’s independence in the light of US President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Monday, in an interview with The Times newspaper, Trump called NATO an "obsolete" organization, since it is not much engaged in countering terrorism, while its member countries' contributions are not efficient.

    "European defense with European means, European investments, European power projection capacity is necessary to provide the European Union … with independence," Cazeneuve said, answering questions to the government at the National Assembly meeting.

    Cazeneuve added that independent Europe could uphold its principles, values and identity.

    Commenting on Trump’s interview, French President Francois Hollande said Europe intended to continue cooperating with NATO and did not need any advice on its actions from abroad.

    Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump called into question the viability of NATO, the disproportionate US financial contribution to the alliance and Washington’s pledge to defend NATO’s members as per Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that established the alliance in 1949.

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    European Union, defense system, Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, France
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