EU wants to be superpower in bid for new European army, ex-defence chief tells Nigel Farage
Boris Johnson said it would be a challenge to give Volodymyr Zelenskyy the tanks he has demanded
A former military commander has accused the European Union of using the Russia-Ukraine war in "a cynical way" to set up a European Defence Union.
Colonel Richard Kemp joined Nigel Farage on GB News to discuss the ongoing conflict and NATO's response after today's summit in Brussels.
NATO leaders today were said to have agreed Russia using chemical weapons would mark a “fundamental change” in the Ukrainian conflict that would be met with a “very severe response”.
A Western official said: “On the use of chemical weapons, we’ve all agreed (it) would be a fundamental change in the nature of the conflict that we would have to address.”
But asked if that would include NATO troops on the ground in Ukraine, the official said: “I think it is highly unlikely that NATO would go directly into conflict with Russia because every leader agrees that we’ve got to stop the killing.”
Most believe, the official said, that NATO entering the conflict directly would only escalate it and increase the killing and human suffering.
Following the summit, a joint statement from the heads of state and government said: “We call on all states, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), to uphold the international order including the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as enshrined in the UN Charter, to abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way, and to refrain from any action that helps Russia circumvent sanctions."
Asked by Nigel Farage if the UK could "work together effectively" with the EU on a military front, Colonel Kemp replied: "There’s no doubt that NATO is the way we should be dealing with this situation, NATO is coming much more into its own than it’s been for a long time, in response to it.
"I think the EU has, of course done a few quite good things in relation to Russia including sanctions.
"But they’ve also tried to use this crisis to in a very cynical way I think, to set up this European Defence Union, which people like Macron have been pushing for, for a long time.
"Unfortunately they’re trying to absorb Britain into that as well.
"My view is the EU should keep out of the military sphere, it should work through NATO.
"Certainly there’s no way that Britain should even contemplate taking part in the EU Defence Union."
He added that the EU "wants to be a superpower" and sees a military move as the way to get there.
Boris Johnson said it would be a challenge to give Volodymyr Zelenskyy the tanks he has demanded, as he hit back at the Kremlin effectively labelling him enemy number one among western leaders.
The Prime Minister said it would “logistically” be “very difficult” to supply the Ukrainian president with the tanks and jets he asked for during a Nato summit on Wednesday.
But Mr Johnson said allies would strive to give Mr Zelenskyy weapons “in the quantity and of the quality” he needs to defend his nation from the Russian invasion.
He pledged more missiles and a new deployment of UK troops to Bulgaria, while doubling personnel in Poland and Estonia to boost NATO on the eastern flanks.