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Polish leader warns of ‘prewar era,’ urges European nations to invest in defense

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk urged European nations to step up investment in their defense, saying the continent isn’t ready for the current “prewar era.” 

Tusk made the remarks during a recent interview with various European newspapers.

“I don’t want to scare anyone, but war is no longer a concept from the past,” he said before referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “It’s real and it started over two years ago.”

Russia has intensified airstrikes against its neighbor.

Recently, Russian missiles briefly breached Polish airspace during an attack on Ukraine.

That prompted Warsaw to put its forces on heightened readiness. 

Moscow has escalated its attacks in recent days, launching several missile barrages on the capital, Kyiv, and hitting energy infrastructure across the country in apparent retaliation for recent Ukrainian aerial attacks on the Russian border region of Belgorod.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk urged European nations to step up investment in their defense, saying the continent isn’t ready for the current “prewar era.” Getty Images
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Tusk visit a memorial site for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre on April 7, 2010, in Katyn, Russia. Getty Images

On Friday, Italian news agency AGI reported that Italian fighter jets at a Polish military base in Malbork intercepted two Russian spy aircraft in the Baltic Sea.

The Russian aircraft were not authorized to be in NATO airspace, the report said. 

No one was harmed, and the Russian planes did not have “hostile intentions.”

Ukrainian soldiers conducted a seize and defuse operation for an explosive bomb in Mykolaiv, Ukraine on March 29, 2024. Anadolu via Getty Images
People standing near a Ukrainian national flag watch as dark smoke billows following an air strike in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, on March 26, 2022. AFP via Getty Images

Tusk called for urgent assistance for Ukraine to defend itself and urged more cooperation between Poland, Germany and France.

“We are living in the most critical moment since the end of the second world war,” he said.

“I know it sounds devastating, especially to people of the younger generation, but we have to mentally get used to the arrival of a new era. The prewar era.”

Tusk also called out Russian President Vladimir Putin for attempting to link the terrorist attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall to Ukraine without evidence.

“Evidently feels the need to justify increasingly violent attacks on civil targets in Ukraine,” Tusk said.

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