Stockholm, Sept. 24 (ChinaEuropeDialogue) — French Defence Minister Pali said on Friday that there is no problem with allies. We are still allies, but we want to be good allies, but the AKUS event made the trust between Atlantic allies at stake.
Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen from Finland attend the defence minister meeting of the European Intervention Initiative (EI2) countries. which took place in the Karlberg Castle.
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist briefed the journalist that they discussed the issues concerning Afghanistan, Mali and others.
Besides Finland, the participating countries include Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
Finland became a member of the European Intervention Initiative in 2018. The purpose of the EI2 is to develop European strategic culture and the relations between defence administrations, to support the creation of a common situation picture and the capacity for prediction and sharing of information, and to develop Europe’s readiness on the politico-strategic level in order to respond to the crises and security challenges facing it.
Minister of Defence Kaikkonen will learn about the Joint Protector 21 command-post exercise in Älvdalen, Sweden.
The exercise is part of the multilateral military JEF (Joint Expeditionary Force) defence cooperation framework, in which Finland participates.
The framework is led by the United Kingdom. The purpose of JEF cooperation is to develop the military readiness of the participating countries, to prevent different types of crises, and if necessary, to work together in crisis situations.
French Defence Minister Pali also briefed the journalists about the purpose and what they have done during the meeting.
But she also expressed her disatisfaction with the American and British allies.
She said the US Britain and Australian Pact was announced the same day on Sept. 16 when the EU announced its Indopacific Strategies.
“It was a shock for us. Britain was the first member to join EI2. ..This event make us know what we have known that Europe must stand up and speak for itself and act for itself together.” said Pali.
When the AFP journalist asked whether this AKUS event showed that the US is not reliable, Pali said,
“We are still allies, but we want to make a good ally. with this event, the trust between us is at stake. ” Pali said.
In her opinion, neither US nor Britain is as trustworthy as before. And this issue makes the EI2 even more important.
Peter Hultqvist said the relations across the Atlantic Ocean is still very important. The US and Sweden cooperate very well in sharing information. But in Afghanistan, during the withdrawal, there were a lot of problems. The US didn’t coordinate very well in the intelligence information and timetable.
Pali also criticised the US of lacking leadership in coordination and cooperation.
But she said France and the US will continue to cooperate in Mali in dealing with the situation there.
In Mali there have been twice coup and the military government now intended to cooperate with Russian mercenary troops of about 1000 soldiers. This made France worry so much. So they are discussing this here and try to avoid that by sending a message to Mali that Mali should avoid contacting with Russia and being isolated by France and other EU members.
They also expressed concerns and tensions caused by Russian joint military exercise in Zapad.