WASHINGTON, the U.S. (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The United States is forcing the European Union to rethink its intention to create a European military alliance that would exclude the US companies from arms contracts and would undermine NATO. This is said in a letter from two under secretaries of the Pentagon, Ellen Lord and Andrea Thompson, to the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
According to the words of an unnamed European government official, the letter from the Pentagon shows that the United States “does not understand how the European Union works” because the planned defence pact and fund are just one of the ways of coordinating with the United States. “They read in the text (for the new pact) only what “fences “ the European continent off from cooperation with America and that is not true.”
In the letter dated May 1, the US government says that the limitations provided for non-EU companies’ participation in defence programs of the future military alliance are “poison pills” that can destroy the emerging ties between the EU and NATO in the field of joint defence. It has been warned that the United States, though reluctantly, would be forced to introduce reciprocal restrictions on the European partners. There is a risk of “duplication and unnecessary competition between NATO and the EU,” the Pentagon letter said. “Any rules limiting the US defence contractors’ participation would be equivalent to a dramatic turn in the 30-year enhanced integration of the transatlantic defence sector”.
According to Reuters, the Trump’s “America First” policy, the problems posed by the involvement of European companies wishing to break into the US arms market and the years of funds wasted on defence are the main motivation of the European efforts to better integration of their armed forces.
The governments of the EU countries are trying to reach an agreement about legal frameworks by June which to allow the participation of non-EU countries, including the United States and the UK after it leaves the EU. This was one of the issues discussed by the EU defence ministers in their Brussels talks yesterday. France, however, wants the participation of third countries in European defence projects to be minimized, arguing that Europe needs to create its own strategic autonomy.
According to the German Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, the Europeans are finally committed to doing what the Americans have been demanding on them as allies for years- to build up their own defence capabilities.
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Translator editor: Monika Evgenieva