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German involvement in EUTM reviewed. Russians deprived of shopping on the Champs-Élysées if they attack Ukraine

(B2) Hit the Russians in the wallet. Study all the possibilities, particularly European ones, for the replacement of Tornado carriers of nuclear weapons. Review the methods of training the Malian armed forces. Christine Lambrecht, Germany's new defense minister clearly puts a firm, European stamp on her tenure.

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht visiting logistics battalion 172 (credit: Bundeswehr)

The interview published in the German daily BILD a few days ago is interesting not only on the point of the mission in Mali, but also on operations in general, the situation in Ukraine and relations with Russia, the replacement of Tornado, carriers of nuclear weapons, by European planes...

Parliamentary oversight is not for the glory

The Bundeswehr is a parliamentary army, which means that each deployment is discussed and decided there insists Christine Lambrecht. The one who was a member of the Bundestag for 23 years wants to strengthen the role of Parliament. “I want Parliament to talk more about mandates and to constantly review the purpose of operations, because MPs send soldiers to work and are therefore responsible for them.

Review the place of training of FAMa in Mali

On the training mission of the European Union in Mali (EUTM Mali), the question of training does not arise, but that of the place of training, yes. " We need to check if the training of Malian soldiers is as good, or even better, possible in another place, safer for our soldiers. The safety of our soldiers is my first priority “, indicates the German Minister of Defense.

  • NB: the training takes place today mainly in Koulikoro, which until now was relatively spared. And the idea is to have training points in Sévaré as well (a project supported by the Germans). This would mean in particular relocating training elsewhere. In Niger for example?

The Russians are the aggressors in Ukraine and all options must be explored

On the situation at the borders of Ukraine, the minister does not lace: " Clearly: the aggressor is Russia ". And " we must do everything possible to stop a noticeable escalation in severity ". That is to say, in particular « Sanctions severe ". It does not express an express opinion on the maintenance of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline (NB: a subject of dissension within the coalition: the Greens being in favor of its abandonment). But intrinsically it is part of the options: “ We must use all the instruments at our disposal.

If they attack Ukraine, they will be deprived of shopping on the Champs Élysées !

More directly, she speaks of target Putin and those around him ».

  • NB: one of the options that appear at European level: with the freezing of assets and a ban on entry into the European Union for oligarchs and others close to the Russian president.

« Those responsible for the attack must feel personal consequences, for example that they can no longer go to the Champs Élysées in Paris to do their shopping.

To replace the Tornado, let's first study the European options

The Minister does not evade the question on the replacement of aging Tornado. The only aircraft capable of carrying the Alliance's nuclear weapons. A point that Germany has consistently supported so far. But rather than the F-18 (possible choice of the previous coalition) or the F-35 (pushed by the Americans and certain military circles across the Rhine) - the two aircraft cited by the journalist - his preference is clearly for the plane of the German forces: the Eurofighter. " We need to clarify if and how quickly the United States would certify it for nuclear weapons. And if not, we also have to look at other European solutions. " We would do well to also examine with rigor a European solution.

  • NB: it does not specify the device concerned. But it could well be... the French Rafale.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde, with Aurélie Pugnet)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).