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Poland PM Urges Leaders to Ready for War in Europe

Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk has warned that war in Europe is a real possibility.
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has warned that war in Europe is a real possibility. CC BY 2.0/flickr

Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk has warned that all-out war is a strong possibility in the near future, and Russia must not defeat Ukraine. Otherwise, it could destabilize the whole of Europe.

The Polish Prime Minister said war was “no longer a concept from the past,” adding “it’s real and it started over two years ago.” Tusk’s remarks came in the wake of Russia’s massive attack on Ukraine’s energy system on Thursday, March 28th.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that Moscow had “no aggressive intentions” towards NATO countries. He added that the idea that Russia, armed with one of Europe’s and the world’s largest nuclear arsenals, would attack Poland, the Baltic states, and the Czech Republic—all members of the NATO alliance—in an act of war, was “complete nonsense.”

But he did warn that if Ukraine uses Western F-16 warplanes from airfields in other countries, they would become “legitimate targets, wherever they might be located.” On the heel of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, relations with the West have reached their lowest point since the tragic days of the Cold War.

Nearly a hundred missiles and drones were employed by Russia in its latest attack on neighboring Ukraine, which left a number of areas with partial blackouts. It was the second attack of its kind in which Russia fired a large number of weapons at the same time to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenses in the space of a week.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has coined the tactic “missile terror” and claims attacks on hydro-electric power plants could lead to a major environmental disaster. Speaking to the BBC, the mayor of Kharkiv, a city where small businesses are running on generators and industry is suffering due to blackouts, said the damage to the grid was “very serious” and could take two months to fully recover.

The escalating situation in Ukraine and the possibility of war in Europe

Tusk warned that the next two years would be critical to determining the future of this pre-war era in Europe, saying, “We are living in the most critical moment since the end of the Second World War.”

During his bleak commentary on the security of Europe, he highlighted that Russia had attacked Kyiv with hypersonic missiles in daylight for the first time in the war. He commented that Putin’s efforts to blame Ukraine for the jihadist attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall with no evidence showed the Russian President “evidently feels the need to justify increasingly violent attacks on civil targets in Ukraine.”

Tusk has urged leaders around Europe to bolster their defenses, saying that the continent did not need to create “parallel structures to NATO” but it would be a more attractive partner to the US if it became more self-sufficient militarily regardless of which candidate wins the US presidential election in November.

Poland now spends four percent of its economic output on defense, while many European nations have not yet achieved the NATO target of two percent.

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