German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius: Vladimir Putin Could Attack a NATO Country

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.19 - 2024 9:00 PM CET

'Vladimir Putin Could Attack a NATO Country'

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German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has warned of a potential Russian attack on the Baltic countries, aiming to "shake up" society.

"We almost daily hear threats from the Kremlin - recently again against our friends in the Baltic countries," said the SPD politician to the newspaper "Tagesspiegel." "Therefore, we must consider that Vladimir Putin may one day even attack a NATO country," added Boris Pistorius. He does not think a Russian attack is likely at the moment. "Our experts expect a period of five to eight years in which this could be possible," he said, emphasizing his desire to "shake up" German society and demands the Bundeswehr's readiness for war.

Military Service for Non-German Passport Holders

In this regard, precautionary measures must urgently be taken now. Pistorius had previously proposed a concept of modified mandatory military service, the details of which his department is set to present by April. He is also in favor of opening the ranks of the Bundeswehr to soldiers without German passports.

"We would not be the first armed forces in Europe to do this," said Pistorius. He argued that there are people in Germany who have been living here for two or three generations and still do not have German citizenship.

Military Needs More Funding According to Pistorius, the efficiency of the defense industry must also be increased. He also advocated for a reform of the debt brake (a mechanism that allows budget indebtedness at most at 0.35% of GDP), which should be dictated by security considerations. "With the debt brake in this form, we will not get through these crises unscathed," he said.

The currently available funds are no longer sufficient to ensure the country's security while simultaneously investing in education and digitization. About the Bundeswehr, he said: "We must quickly strengthen our defensive capabilities in the context of the urgency of the threat situation."

Appeal to Europe for More Arms for Ukraine At the same time, Pistorius rejected calls for increased German military aid to Ukraine and pointed to the limitations of Bundeswehr support. "We cannot go 'all out,' as some demand. Otherwise, we would be left defenseless," he stressed.

"We have already delivered everything we could," he added. Among all EU countries, Germany is already doing the most, now other European partners must do more. "It must be clear to everyone: If Putin wins this war and occupies Ukraine, the danger to the Alliance will naturally increase," warned the SPD politician.

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