Macron’s comments come as European nations grapple with the looming consequences of Donald Trump’s potential return to the White House, with the NATO-skeptic ex-president on track to win the Republican nomination. In the U.S., further military aid for Ukraine is also stalled in Congress, with Republican lawmakers reluctant to continue funding Kyiv. Ukraine has been fending off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion for almost two years now.
“This is a decisive and testing moment for Europe. We must be ready to act to defend and support Ukraine whatever it takes and whatever America decides,” Macron said during a speech at Sweden’s Military Academy Karlberg.
Ahead of a key European summit this week focused on Ukraine, Macron also said the EU will have “to accelerate the scale” of its support, given that the costs “of a Russian victory are too high for all of us.”
EU leaders are hoping to agree on a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine at a European Council summit this Thursday, but fears are growing that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán will use his veto to block the funds for Kyiv.
Macron is currently on a two-day visit to Sweden to discuss partnerships in areas from energy to defense. French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu and his Swedish counterpart Pål Jonson are expected to sign letters of intent on air defense and air surveillance systems.
France and Sweden are among the very few European countries with a wide-ranging defense industry that can also manufacture their own fighter jets — France’s Rafale by Dassault Aviation, and Sweden’s JAS 39 Gripen made by Saab.
“We both have a very strong model in terms of production,” Macron told the audience, listing equipment, weapons, missiles and ammunition. Cyber and space, he added, are “clearly two areas of conflictuality for the future where there’s a lot to do together.”
The partnership between the French and Belgian armies — dubbed CaMo — is a model that could be replicated between France and Sweden, Macron added.