German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen talks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 16, 2018. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle
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EU countries need to ensure they have the "strategic autonomy" to respond to security threats, even while bolstering commitments to the NATO pact, the French and German defense ministers said Friday.French President Emmanuel Macron has called for a European Intervention Initiative that would let individual nations band together for operations outside of existing EU or NATO structures.That has prompted warnings from NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg that the EU must not undermine the alliance.Speaking to reporters earlier on the sidelines of the conference, Stoltenberg cited a "more assertive Russia" in particular as a common challenge for NATO and the EU.
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