May 27. 2024. 9:41

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Austrian MEP: Putin’s Russia will disappear one way or another


European defence and security policy has matured following Russia’s war in Ukraine, MEP Lukas Mandl said in Prague, noting that Moscow would surely play a different role in the new geopolitical order, hopefully, a peaceful one.

Mandl (ÖVP, EPP), Vice-Chair in EP Subcommittee on Security and Defence, spoke to EURACTIV Czech Republic during a recent debate in the Czech capital focused on Europe’s defence capabilities.

“There are many aspects you could mention, such as Denmark joining the Common Security and Defence Policy, Finland and Sweden seeking a way to NATO, or Ireland also discussing this option,” Mandl pointed out.

“You can see my home country Austria and many other countries increasing defence budgets, you can see the European Peace Facility used for the first time in history for defence against a real military aggression,” the MEP added.

Speaking of Austria’s neutral stance towards conflict and the Ukraine war more specifically, Mandl said Vienna is discussing the future of its security and always reflects the new geopolitical circumstances even though neutrality remains part of its security toolbox.

“We are paving a way for our own security and also have been playing our role in the European as well as global security field. For example in Mali with the training mission, in Kosovo with NATO or in Bosnia and Herzegovina with EUFOR operation,” Mandl added.

When asked about changes to the global arena, he said they always come along with some risks, but also opportunities.

“It is clear we will face a new geopolitical order after this war and Putin’s Russia will disappear in one way or another. It is clear Putin is a bad leader, we need to point that out again and again. (…) His era will be seen as one of the worst parts of Russian history,” Mandl also said.

According to him, Russia will surely play a different role in the new geopolitical order, “hopefully a peaceful one”.

“This will happen in the long-term perspective, but in the middle-term, we will have to see a more mature Europe, with more strength, and contributing to the outside in all the things that are important for the Europeans,” he stressed.

(Ondřej Plevák | EURACTIV.cz)