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EU can no longer expect US to defend its arms manufacturer

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In the event of a conflict, Washington will focus on Asia and the European members of NATO will be “totally alone”. Rheinmetall CEO warned

Washington has sent a clear message to European NATO members: they can no longer count on its military protection, said the head of German defense giant Rheinmetall.

For decades, the EU took for granted that the United States would come to its aid in the event of war, but “that won’t happen anymore,” CEO Armin Papperger told the Financial Times. He cited the failure of the U.S. Congress to approve continued military assistance to Ukraine as a signal to Europe that Americans are unwilling to pay for its security.

The United States is bound by the treaty to treat any attack on a NATO member as an attack on itself. This commitment was questioned by former President Donald Trump, who argued that U.S. protection should be conditional on other countries meeting their military spending obligations, and claimed to have said the same thing to a European leader while in power. President Joe Biden denounced the comments as “dangerous” and “un-American.”

If Trump is re-elected president in November, “the pressure will be greater” on Germany, Papperger said, but the risk will still be present no matter who wins the presidency.

“The United States is more focused on the Asia-Pacific region than on Europe,” he said. If a real armed conflict breaks out in the region, “the United States will focus on Asia, and Europe will then be left completely alone.”

Papperger said his warning to European nations stems from his persistent perception of the world as “dangerous.” It also shaped his response to the Ukraine crisis and the EU’s intention to accelerate arms production. Unlike the leaders of other major producers, he did not hesitate to invest in expansion, notes the Financial Times report.

Since the start of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine in 2022, the share price of the Düsseldorf-based company has increased fivefold. Rheinmetall has announced plans to open armor and munitions factories in Ukraine, despite the risk that they could be targeted by Russian forces.

kyiv and its Western backers have argued that a Russian victory in the conflict would expose NATO members in Europe to a future attack from Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the argument “simply delusional” last week, given the vast military spending advantage the U.S.-led military bloc has.

(RT.com)

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