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Peaceful times are over – EU state’s PM

The peaceful times in Europe are long gone, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, painting a grim picture of the future of the continent amid the continuing tensions with Russia.   

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“The times of peace are over. The post-war era is over,” Tusk said at a meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday. “We are living through new times – the pre-war era.”

“The fight against totalitarian trends, corruption, and lies is taking place on many fronts. The most dramatic illustration of this is, of course, what is happening in the war in Ukraine,” the prime minister continued. 

“We are facing a simple choice: either we fight to protect our borders, territory and values, and defend our citizens and future generations, or [accept] the alternative that is defeat.” 

Tusk made his comments as the Russia-Ukraine conflict entered its third year last month, with many EU heads of state renewing their pledges to continue military and financial aid to Kiev.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in February that the US-led alliance should brace for “a confrontation that could last decades.” US President Joe Biden vowed during his State of the Union address on Thursday to continue backing Ukraine and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “sowing chaos around Europe and beyond.”

Moscow has blamed the West for instigating current tensions, arguing that NATO’s expansion eastward is one of the key causes of Russia’s ongoing military operation in the neighboring state. Putin stated last year that the West’s true goal is “the breakup” of Russia.

The Russian leader, however, stressed that Moscow has no intention of attacking NATO member states unless it will be attacked first.

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