The European Union has not been formally notified of the new military alliance announced by the US, UK and Australia on Wednesday night. A European Commission spokesman acknowledged this on Thursday. She added that the commission has made contacts with the concerned countries and is evaluating the implications of the agreement.
US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison announced the partnership during a joint press conference on Wednesday. The initiative, which will be called AUKUS, is primarily aimed at ensuring security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
An EU spokesperson acknowledged Thursday afternoon at the European Commission’s daily press briefing that the EU had not been notified in advance of the military partnership. “We are in contact with our partners for more information and will need to analyze the announcement in terms of its implications for us,” she said. In any case, according to another spokesperson for the Commission, contacts with the three partner countries are “ongoing”. “In any case, this has no effect on our relations with partners in the area of trade policy, for example.”
France’s reaction is upset
France, a member of the European Union, had already reacted indignantly to the AUKUS announcement. The alliance means that the US and UK will help Australia build a nuclear submarine fleet. The French company Naval Group had hoped to sell Canberra diesel-electric submarines worth more than 31 billion euros, but this did not happen. The French Foreign Ministry speaks of a “decision that contradicts the text and spirit of cooperation between France and Australia” and an “unfortunate decision.”
Today, however, the White House claims that the US and France had high-level contact before the US, UK and Australia announced their new alliance. “Senior US government officials have been in touch with their French counterparts to discuss the American University of Kosovo, including prior to the announcement,” the White House official explained. But a spokesman for the French Embassy in Washington, Pascal Confreau, denies this: “We were not informed of this project to publish the first information in the American and Australian press, even hours before the official announcement of Joe Biden.”
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