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Macron calls for new European security framework with NATO, Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that Europeans needed to build their own collective security pact and re-arm themselves in the face of Russian military moves on the continent’s doorstep.

“Europe needs to finally build its own collective security framework on our continent,” he told lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France.

“Security on our continent requires strategic rearmament,” he added, saying that “frank and demanding” talks with Russia were also required.

“As Europeans, we need to collectively make our own demands and put ourselves in a position to enforce them,” he added.

The European Union was not involved in direct talks with Moscow during a week of diplomacy last week to try to soothe tensions caused by Russia’s decision to mass tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine.

European defence is primarily assured by the US-led NATO military alliance, of which most EU states are members.

Macron said a new “security framework” needed to be put forward “in the next few weeks” during France’s time holding the six-month rotating presidency of the European Council.

“We need to build it between us, Europeans, share it with our allies in NATO, and propose it for negotiation to Russia,” he told lawmakers.

At the heart of the framework would be principles agreed with Russia 30 years ago, he said.

These included rejecting the use of force or coercion, giving states “choices to accede to alliances or bodies that they wish to”, the “inviolability of borders” and the “rejection of spheres of influence”.

“We in Europe need to stand up for these inherent rights,” Macron said.