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Commission Chief Calls For EU Army

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the creation of a common European Union army in the wake of rising tensions with Russia.

In an interview published on March 8, Juncker said the force could help counter new threats beyond the bloc's borders and shape a common foreign and security policy.

Juncker said a "common European army would convey a clear message to Russia that we are serious about defending our European values."

Juncker told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that a European army should not be a competitor to NATO.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen welcomed Juncker's proposal, saying: "Our future as Europeans will at some point be with a European army."

However, the idea of an EU army has been rejected in the past.

Britain has been wary of giving a bigger military role to the EU, fearing it could undermine NATO.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, and AFP