Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited Olaf Scholz on Monday. They announced closer cooperation on weapons and criticized Donald Trump.

Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister and Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz give a press conference in the Federal Chancellery, behind them a European flag can be seen

Tusk (left) and Scholz at a press conference on Monday afternoon Photo: Kay Nietfeld/Picture Alliance/dpa

SEDAN rtr/taz | Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk spoke in favor of closer arms cooperation between the two countries. After a meeting with Tusk on Monday afternoon in Berlin, Scholz would not say whether the federal government was in favor of Poland becoming involved in arms projects with France, such as the development of a new fighter plane and a tank. battle. “But the fact that we always want to do this in close collaboration with Poland applies to many, many projects,” Scholz said.

Unlike the conservative PiS national government that was defeated, Tusk reiterated the desire to cooperate on arms policy with EU countries and especially with Germany. He mentioned possible cooperation on air defense and ammunition production.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk have sharply criticized US presidential candidate Donald Trump for his threats against unpopular European countries. “Any relativization of NATO's assistance guarantee is irresponsible and dangerous, and is solely in Russia's interest,” Scholz said after a meeting with Tusk in Berlin on Monday.

Tusk called Trump's observation that, as US president, he would not defend NATO states against Russia that have not sufficiently increased their military spending, a “cold shower.” At the same time, he called on Europeans to invest more in his own security.

Since Trump made his comments at an election campaign event in the United States, there have been angry statements. “NATO cannot be an 'à la carte' military alliance that depends on the whim of the US president,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. Scholz seemed relatively relaxed before the conversation with Tusk. “I am sure that NATO is essential for the United States, Canada and European countries,” he said at a meeting with the Rheinmetall arms company in Unterlüß. Americans would see it that way too.

“Wake up call” to Europeans

In northern Europe, and especially in the east, where people feel most threatened by Russia, a withdrawal of protection by military superpower the US is considered a threat. However, Trump at least received support for his call to spend more money on defense.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and her Danish colleague Mette Frederiksen spoke of a “wake-up call” to Europeans. “I think what the American presidential candidate said is also something that maybe wakes up some of the allies who haven't done as much,” Kallas said. “I assume that all NATO member states will meet these criteria in Europe,” Scholz said. This will significantly strengthen NATO's military capabilities.

The federal government does not consider Trump's criticism to be directed against himself. “We are committed to the 2 percent target and determined to continue to meet it,” said deputy government spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann. NATO countries agreed in 2014 to increase defense spending to two percent of their economic output by 2024.

The federal government wants to achieve this goal in 2024 thanks to the special loan of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr. Finance Minister Christian Lindner also assured that this will continue to be the case beyond 2028, when the money from the special fund has been spent.