Polish PM Donald Tusk: Europe is in pre-war times, every scenario is possible

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says Europe is entering a "pre-war" era. He warned that the continent is not ready and calls on European countries to increase defense investment

by Sededin Dedovic
Polish PM Donald Tusk: Europe is in pre-war times, every scenario is possible
© Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warns that Europe is entering a "pre-war" era, warning that the continent is not ready and calling on European countries to increase defense investment, writes The Guardian. Tusk is a veteran politician who previously served as president of the European Council and leader of the center-right European People's Party.

In an interview with a group of European journalists, Tusk said: "I don't want to scare anyone, but the war is no longer a thing of the past. It is real and it started more than two years ago." Tusk's comments come days after a Russian missile briefly breached Polish airspace during a major attack on Ukraine, prompting Warsaw to put its forces on high alert.

Ukrainian officials reported that attacks by large Russian missiles and drones targeted energy infrastructure. Using his platform to inject a sense of urgency into European debates on defense and aid to Ukraine, amid fears over the future of US aid and concerns about the capacity of the defense industry, Tusk wrote on social media earlier this month: "True solidarity with Ukraine? Less talk, more ammunition ." The Polish Prime Minister stated that, regardless of the outcome of this year's American elections, Europe would become a more attractive partner for Washington if it became militarily self-sufficient.

He called several times on European countries to create strong armies in order to be as independent as possible from the USA. "The population of the EU is more numerous than that of Russia, our GDP is higher. Europe as a whole must believe that it is a power that can guarantee the security of both Europe and its neighbors.

Now is the time to act," said Tusk after a conversation with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gar Stjore in Warsaw.

German/British Amphibious Engineer Battalion 130 on March 5 in Poland© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

The Polish Prime Minister also promised that he will not accept the demands of the most radical Polish farmers who are blocking borders and roads demanding that the border with Ukraine be closed.

"These are not demands that can be negotiated. I am not prime minister to take Poland out of the EU or to make Poland a country that blocks its borders with Ukraine. But we are ready to discuss the limits, those proposed by Brussels and Kiev are not acceptable for us", said Tusk.

The Polish Prime Minister announced that he is organizing a meeting with the leaders of the protesting farmers on Thursday. "One number will show you how big a problem we have. In Europe, there are over 20 million tons of surplus grain in warehouses, nine in Poland.

And the harvest hasn't even started. We currently do not have the infrastructure that would allow these grains to be exported. We will seek a solution with the EU and Ukraine and our farmers," said Tusk.

We live in pre-war times

He called for emergency help to Kiev, stating that the next two years of war will decide everything and that "we are living in the most critical moment since the end of the Second World War." What is most worrying is that "literally every scenario is possible", Tusk said.

"I know it sounds bleak, especially for the younger generation, but we have to mentally prepare for the arrival of a new era. The pre-war era," he said. He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Kiev for the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow without any evidence and "apparently feels the need to justify increasingly violent attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine." Tusk, who was prime minister between 2007 and 2014 and returned to office in December, is a veteran politician who previously chaired the European Council and led the centre-right European People's Party.

He sought to improve Warsaw's position in the EU and the transatlantic alliance. In a recent post on social media, he wrote: "The post-war era is gone. We live in a new time: the pre-war era. That's why NATO and solidarity between Europe and America are more important than ever."

U.S.</p><p>soldiers in a combat engineering vehicle look on as a French military ferry swims behind on March 5 in Poland
U.S. soldiers in a combat engineering vehicle look on as a French military ferry swims behind on March 5 in Poland© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In his comments this week, Tusk stressed the importance of cooperation between Poland, Germany and France, in a format known as the Weimar Triangle.

Despite tensions between Warsaw and Kyiv over Ukrainian food imports in recent months, he has worked to iron out differences. "Even the closest friends sometimes have conflicting interests and views," the Polish leader said at a press conference this week alongside his Ukrainian counterpart.