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Polish PM Tusk warns of war and Europe's unpreparedness


The Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, has cautioned that Europe is now in a "pre-war era" and emphasized the need to prevent Ukraine from being besieged by Russia for the sake of the whole continent.


He said that war is no longer an idea of the past, stating that it is accurate and began more than two years ago.


The remarks were made after Russia initiated a substantial assault on Ukraine's energy infrastructure on Thursday.


This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Moscow has no hostile intentions toward the nations belonging to NATO.


He dismissed the notion that his nation, with one of the most significant nuclear stockpiles globally, would launch an assault on Poland, the Baltic nations, and the Czech Republic - all of which are Nato alliance members, unlike Ukraine - as "utterly absurd."


Nevertheless, he cautioned that the use of Western F-16 fighters by Ukraine from foreign airfields would render them susceptible to being targeted as legal entities, regardless of their geographical location.


Following Russia's initiation of a comprehensive military conflict in Ukraine in February 2022, diplomatic ties with Western nations plummeted to their lowest point since the most severe period of the Cold War.


Nearly 100 missiles and drones were used in the most recent Russian assault on Ukraine, resulting in partial power outages in many areas.


The incident was the second occurrence of a similar kind when Russia launched a substantial quantity of weaponry concurrently to overpower Ukraine's defensive capabilities within one week.


President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has referred to the strategy as "missile terror" and cautioned that assaults on hydroelectric power facilities had the potential to result in a significant ecological catastrophe.


In an interview with the BBC, the mayor of Kharkiv, a city where small businesses depend on generators and industry is facing difficulties due to power outages, described the grid damage as "extremely severe" and estimated that it may need two months to recover completely.


Mr Tusk urged immediate military assistance for Ukraine, cautioning that the next two years of the conflict will determine the outcome and emphasizing that we are now experiencing the most crucial period since the conclusion of the Second World War.


He made a strong statement on European security, highlighting that Russia had launched a daytime assault on Kyiv using hypersonic missiles.


According to the individual, Mr Putin's endeavour to attribute responsibility to Ukraine for the jihadist assault on Moscow's Crocus City Hall, without substantiating facts, indicates that the Russian president has a clear inclination to rationalize escalating acts of violence against civilian targets inside Ukraine.


In his first interview with European media after assuming the position of Polish prime minister in late 2023, Mr Tusk urged leaders across the continent to enhance their defensive capabilities.


He said that Europe does not need to establish "parallel structures to Nato." However, he argued that the continent would be a more appealing ally to the United States if it achieved more military self-sufficiency, regardless of the outcome of America's November presidential election.


Poland allocates 4% of its economic output towards defence expenditures, while other European countries have not yet attained the stated aim of 2% set by NATO.


According to Mr Tusk, a former president of the European Council, Europe must be well prepared for potential conflicts.


It was discovered that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain had requested other European Union leaders to refrain from using the term "war" in their summit declarations, as people wanted to avoid seeing any threat.


Mr Tusk said that war was no longer a theoretical concept in his region of Europe, cautioning that "virtually any situation is conceivable."


He went on to state: "Although it may appear distressing, particularly to individuals belonging to the younger cohort, it is imperative that we mentally acclimatize ourselves to the advent of a novel epoch." This was the period before the conflict.


During his tenure as Polish prime minister from 2007 to 2014, he said that only a limited number of European politicians, apart from Poland and the Baltic republics, saw Russia as a possible threat.


Mr Tusk expressed greater optimism about what he called a genuine revolution of mindset across Europe.


In a rare interview, Ukraine's recently appointed commander-in-chief, General Oleksandr Syrskiy, acknowledged that Russia was significantly outperforming Ukrainian soldiers on the front line, with a numerical advantage of almost six to one.


According to his statement, Ukraine has seen territorial losses that it would have likely maintained if it had been provided with enough ammunition and an air defence system. Additionally, he described the conditions in some conflict zones as stressful.


The recent cautionary statement issued by the prime minister of Poland reflects the sentiments expressed by neighbouring countries in the Baltic States. These states express concern that if Russia can successfully invade, occupy, and annex entire provinces in Ukraine, it raises questions about the potential duration before President Putin may initiate a comparable offensive against nations that were previously under Moscow's influence.


The per capita expenditure on defence is much higher in the NATO member states that share a border with Russia than in Western Europe.


Vladimir Putin, whom opponents have accused of assuming a fifth presidential term via a "sham election," has lately expressed his lack of intentions to initiate an assault on a member state of NATO.


However, Baltic officials, such as Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, express scepticism about the reliability of Moscow's statements. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, ignored Western warnings of the impending invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, characterizing them as "propaganda" and "Western hyperbole."

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