June 22, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Greece and Poland proposed to the EU to create a joint air defense shield

Greece and Poland, the countries that spend the most money on weapons among countries EUappealed to the European Commission with a request to create a common missile defense shield to protect Europe.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to create a joint air defense shield funded by the EU. The European Union needs a new “flagship program”, such as a European air defense shield, Mitsotakis and Tusk write in a letter, Bloomberg reports. The leaders of the two countries are calling for the issue to be discussed at the next EU summit at the end of June. The letter was sent to Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday.

Mitsotakis raised the idea of ​​a specific European defense initiative during a meeting with Tusk in Poland in April, a Greek government official told Bloomberg, who also confirmed the contents of the letter. In particular, Mitsotakis and Tusk propose creating an integrated air defense system capable of protecting the EU's common airspace from incoming threats such as aircraft, missiles and drones, the letter said. Developing and financing such a European-level defense project would send a clear signal that Europe is united and determined to act in self-defense, they added.

In 2023, Poland will spend 3.92% of its gross domestic product on defense, while Greece will spend just over 3%. Together with the United States, these countries spend more on defense than any other NATO country relative to their GDP.

“The European Air Defense Shield will also have a significant multiplier effect, acting as a catalyst and facilitator for the further modernization of the European defense and security industry, as well as for a significantly higher degree of cooperation and joint projects.”wrote Mitsotakis and Tusk.

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