France to spell out nuclear plan
A researcher said that ‘the balance is shifting, including in countries such as Germany’ on the role of nuclear weapons in Europe’s strategic ambitions.
France, the EU’s sole nuclear power since Britain’s exit from the bloc, was to unveil how it intends to use its atomic arsenal as a deterrent. French President Emmanuel Macron, in an address to military officers graduating in Paris yesterday, was expected to recommit to upgrading France’s capacity, at a time when NATO allies, who would ordinarily look to the US in a nuclear standoff, worry about Washington’s retreat from the multilateral stage.
On Monday, Macron said that his speech would address the interests of other European countries.“I will focus on the doctrine [of French deterrence], but also on the procedures and modalities that I wish to propose on this topic to our partners in the coming months,” he said on a visit to Warsaw.
Corentin Brustlein, research director at the Paris-based French Institute of International Relations, said that Europe has always been a strong focus of France’s nuclear vision.
There had been several French attempts at dialogue with European partners on the topic “that have never succeeded,” Brustlein said. However, “the balance is shifting, including in countries such as Germany” where public opinion is deeply anti-nuclear and the subject remains largely taboo, but “where we see emerging positions on the level of European strategic ambition that must grow,” he said.
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