France’s nuclear weapons should be part of European defence debate, Macron says

French President Emmanuel Macron is ready to “open the debate” about the role of nuclear weapons in a common European defence, he said in an interview published Saturday

It was just the latest in a series of speeches in recent months in which he has stressed the need for a European-led defence strategy.

“I am ready to open this debate which must include anti-missile defence, long-range capabilities, and nuclear weapons for those who have them or who host American nuclear armaments,” the French president said in an interview with regional press group EBRA.

“Let us put it all on the table and see what really protects us in a credible manner,” he added.

France will “maintain its specificity but is ready to contribute more to the defence of Europe”.

The interview was carried out Friday during a visit to Strasbourg.

Following Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, France is the only member of the bloc to possess its own nuclear weapons.

In a speech Thursday to students at Paris’ Sorbonne University, Macron warned that Europe faced an existential threat from Russian aggression.

“Being credible is also having long-range missiles to dissuade the Russians.