Putin: ‘Natural’ that the EU wants to protect itself militarily

Putin: ‘Natural’ that the EU wants to protect itself militarily
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that it's natural for the European Union (EU) to want to have its own army.

“Europe is a powerful economic entity, a powerful economic union and it is quite natural that it wants to be independent, self-sufficient and sovereign in matters of defense and security,” Putin told RT television, according to Reuters.

French President Emmanuel Macron last week called for a "true, European army" administered by the E.U. He also called for stronger efforts to deter cyberattacks, telling a French radio station, "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America," according to BBC.

"Who is the main victim? Europe and its security," Macron said.

"I want to build a real security dialogue with Russia, which is a country I respect, a European country — but we must have a Europe that can defend itself on its own without relying only on the United States."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE hit back at Macron's statement, saying, "President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the U.S., China and Russia," Trump tweeted Friday. 

As some journalists have noted, Trump appeared to be taking Macron's comment about the U.S. -- which was in reference specifically to cyberattacks -- out of context.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!"