The EU needs an anti-missile shield – EPP leader Manfred Weber

The leader of the European People’s Party believes that the European Union should start forming a European defense union. Manfred Weber also called to provide Ukraine with modern weapons.

The leader of the European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber called on the European Union for closer military cooperation due to Russia’s war against Ukraine. He stated this in an interview with the publication of the Bayern media group, published on Tuesday, January 3.

“The EU states should finally start creating a European defense union,” the politician believes. It is, in particular, about the need for general rules of the European Union for the export of weapons in the interests of creating a pan-European defense industry.

“And we need joint projects, such as the creation of an anti-missile shield for the EU” Weber added. In his opinion, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron are missing such an opportunity at this stage.

“Putin must understand that he cannot win the war”

In addition, the leader of the largest political force in the European Parliament called for new weapons to be supplied to Ukraine.

“If we do not strengthen Ukraine, the year 2023 may be even worse than the last,” he said. The politician is sure that the German government should coordinate the provision of modern tanks with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).

According to Weber, Russian President Vladimir Putin must understand “that he cannot win this war.” In this regard, more modern and improved weapons for Ukraine “unfortunately, at the moment are the best way to quickly return to peace,” the EPP leader emphasized.

The mass media in Germany believe more in weapons for Ukraine than in diplomacy

In the leading German mass media, after February 24, criticism of Chancellor Olaf Scholz prevails due to his indecision regarding the supply of arms to Ukraine. The researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing thousands of publications.

This follows from the results of a study conducted by scientists at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz with the support of the Otto Brenner Foundation. As part of the study, the results of which were made public on December 15 in Mainz, almost 4,300 publications were analyzed, which appeared from February 24 to May 31 in 8 leading German media, such as, in particular, the print editions of Bild, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as well as stories and comments from the country’s leading TV channels.

Three-quarters of the comments are for arms deliveries

The authors of the study state that the commentators of the German mass media have a fairly clear favorable position regarding the supply of weapons to Ukraine. 74% of commentators in their posts or stories spoke in favor of the fact that arms deliveries by Germany will help put an end to the Russian invasion. 66% percent of the comments supported even the delivery of heavy weapons. These indicators are even higher than the assessment of economic sanctions – they were called effective for ending the war in 64% of comments. Instead, only 43% of commentators believe in the diplomatic way to end the war.

The picture of support for the parties to the war is unequivocal in the German mass media: the struggle of Ukrainians against the occupiers is favorably evaluated in 64% of publications, and the approval of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s actions is 67%. Instead, Russia’s actions received a negative assessment (-88%), but even more condemnation of the owner of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin (-96%). The German mass media are also quite unanimous on the issue of the causes of the war. In 93% of the comments, responsibility for the war rests solely on Russia and Vladimir Putin. Commentators put joint responsibility for the start of the war on the “West/NATO” in only 4% of cases, on Ukraine – only 2%.

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