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Christian Mölling: “Europe will only wake up when defeat is imminent”

Christian Mölling: “Europe will only wake up when defeat is imminent”

Christian Mölling researches and publishes articles on security policy topics in Berlin. He is Deputy Director of the Research Institute of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

Online time: Pro-Russian right-wing populists received a lot of votes over the weekend. Is Ukraine the real loser in the European elections?

Christian Mulling: At least Ukraine didn't win anything in these elections. Only when we wake up France Look at where the EU elections have a national impact. Macron called for new elections after the strong performance achieved by the National Rally party. If Marine Le Pen wins this, the French president will be weakened. At the European level, aid to Ukraine may therefore be delayed.

Online time: Was military support for Ukraine an election-related issue?

Moling: My first impression is that support for Ukraine did not play a decisive role in the elections in most countries. In many countries, the European elections were primarily a vote on national policies. In Germany, several parties tried to persuade people by calling for peace in the election campaign: the BSW, the AfD, the Social Democratic Party, and the Left Party. Orban also focused on the “Peace for Ukraine” message in Hungary. We don't know yet if the topic has really taken off.

Online time: In 2017, Marine Le Pen campaigned in France thanks to her good relations with Putin. She now presents herself as a stateswoman concerned about the economic impact of sanctions imposed on her Russia On the French economy. What would it mean for Ukraine if it got more votes in the National Assembly?

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Moling: Passing something in favor of Ukraine in parliament will be difficult if the right-wing party wins again. I doubt whether Macron will be able to fulfill his promises to Ukraine, namely more artillery and Mirage fighter jets.

Online time: France provided much less military aid than Germany or Great Britain. How hard would it hit Ukraine if the government in Paris provided less support in the future?

Moling: Looking at the numbers alone, Ukraine can certainly make up for France's loss. Losing Macron as a supporter would be even more painful. He has revised his initially skeptical stance as a result of his experience with Putin. However, his voice will become less important if the right-wing majority National Assembly no longer gives him the means to carry out this line.

Online time: Recently, Macron has been very aggressive in his demands for support for Ukraine, for example by deploying NATO soldiers in the country or launching weapons to launch attacks on Russian territory.

Moling: Trying to start discussions. This does not always work, as was the case with ground forces, or as was the case earlier with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). But the federal government and others will have to react one way or another to the proposals. The European Union has always been stronger when Great Britain, France and Germany come together. With Brexit, the British are gone. France has now regained its role as a source of ideas, and Germany maintains its role as the soul of the shopkeeper. Ultimately, Europe needs both positions. If shopkeepers alone set the tone, there will be a risk of stagnation.

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