November 11, 2019 / 9:29 AM / a month ago

Poland says France's Macron comments on NATO 'dangerous' - FT

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

WARSAW (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron’s critical remarks about NATO were “dangerous”, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview published on Sunday evening by the Financial Times.

Macron told The Economist last week that NATO was experiencing “brain death”, citing a lack of coordination and U.S. unpredictability under President Donald Trump. The French leader also expressed doubt about the U.S.-led alliance’s security maxim that an attack on one ally would be treated as an attack on all.

NATO was “the most important alliance in the world when it comes to preserving freedom and peace” and Macron’s questioning of whether its members could still be counted on to defend each other was “dangerous”, Morawiecki said, according to the FT.   

“I think President Macron’s doubts about (NATO’s commitment to mutual defence) can make other allies wonder if perhaps it is France that has concerns about sticking to it. I hope that we can still count on France fulfilling its obligations,” Morawiecki was quoted as saying.

“France is spending below 2 per cent of GDP (on defence) . . . I think it’s worth asking why certain aspects of NATO do not look as we wish. And it’s not for the lack of U.S. commitment to the alliance, but rather the lack of reciprocity on the part of some European allies,” he said.   

France has traditionally had an ambivalent role in NATO, taking no part in its strategic military planning from 1966 to 2009 despite being a founding member. Still Macron’s comments - a month before NATO’s Dec. 4 summit in London - were unexpected.

Reporting by Anna Koper; Editing by Toby Chopra

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