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Kallas: Juncker's EU army a non-starter

Source: Photo: British Army

Former Estonian PM and European Commissioner Siim Kallas said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's idea to create EU armed forces is unlikely to take off as it would drown in discussions and finding a consensus would prove to be very difficult.

Kallas told ERR radio that NATO is the go-to organization to tackle the problems highlighted by Juncker.

“It's a complicated but interesting debate,” Kallas said, adding that he sees why Finland, not a NATO member, is in favor of the army. He said Finland feels alone and would jump on a chance to join a new international set-up.

“To establish a European army, we will struggle with all the same question – how will it be led, how the decision is made, is it a consensus or isn't it a consensus,” he said, adding that some nations will want to go fight in Africa, others in Russia.

He said he doubts all EU nations would agree to fight against Russia, and the current structure of NATO is working. Although the US often accuses Europe of not wanting to get its hands dirty, both the US and the UK would be against such an army, he said.

Kallas said internal security should be strengthened instead, including border security and curbing immigration to Europe.

Speaking about the next Estonian government, Kallas said the most important task is to avoid internal conflicts, like what happened in 2007 with the Bronze Night riots.

He said the message of the recent elections was one of stability, adding that the conflict in Ukraine began from an internal dispute and such frictions are very hard to foresee.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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