Russia has asked European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to explain his recent proposal to establish a European Union army.
"We would like to understand what this idea means because European politicians have already addressed this issue at different levels in the past 30 years. But it is difficult to guess what Juncker meant this time," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksei Meshkov said on March 10.
Juncker said on March 8 that the EU should create its own army in order to be able to respond to security threats facing the EU's member states and neighboring countries.
"A common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union," Juncker told Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
He said it would also be more cost-effective and help drive the EU toward a common foreign and security policy, and downplayed concerns it might undercut NATO's role.
However, the idea of an EU army has been rejected in the past.