Lavrov Says ‘No Smoke without Fire’ Responding to Borrell’s Vision of EU as Military Power

The statement by the top EU diplomat, Josep Borrell, that the EU should become a serious military power is mere words “but there’s no smoke without fire,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference following a visit to Saudi Arabia.

“Probably, this is primarily mere words, but there is no smoke without fire,” Lavrov said. “There really is such a strong Russophobic wing in the European Union, which for many years effectively imposed its position on everyone else, exploiting the principle of solidarity and consensus.”

This wing, according to the minister, “is now stepping up its activity.”

“Borrell’s statements, despite the impropriety of the belligerent words coming from the mouth of the top diplomat of the European Union, reflect the trend that an aggressive minority is imposing on the entire European Union,” the minister said. And the ideal for this minority, Lavrov said, is “a militarized European Union as an appendage of NATO.”

The minister also described German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statements about Germany’s intention to become the EU main military force as evidence of resurgent “dominant aspirations” in the country.

“We have taken note of the statement by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz who stated that Germany would become the main military force in the European Union,” Lavrov said. “I have already read feedback by observers who said they were seriously bewildered that such statements were made by the German leader.”

“This evokes some thoughts because this is far from being the sole evidence of the resurgence of dominant aspirations in Germany,” Russia’s top diplomat said.

Such statements “must be heard by other EU members and must become a subject of a serious talk,” Lavrov said. “A talk about how Europe will develop further and how it will continue to draw lessons from its hard history of past centuries.”

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