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Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, denounced Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its use of “hunger and grain to wield power”, in a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022. “Global cooperation is the antidote to Russia’s blackmail,” she said.
Her message focused on strategic priorities for Europe since the invasion. Boosting military spending is one such initiative. “We have to invest much more in solid European defence capabilities,” von der Leyen said. While NATO remains the world’s strongest military alliance, European spending on defence has not kept pace with recent increases by the United States, Russia or China, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis.
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