OREANDA-NEWS. The European Union needs a common foreign policy and improved coordination in the field of defense in order to claim the role of an important player in the world in the future, and not become a "colony" of world powers. This opinion was expressed on Thursday by Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen.

According to him, according to the strategic forecast for 2030-2040, there will be at least four important players in the world - the United States, China, Russia and the EU.

Van der Bellen said at a panel discussion with his Estonian counterpart in Vienna: “The European Union could be an important player, but it is very difficult to have a common point of view on our foreign policy. Russian President Putin during our conversation two years ago in Sochi drew my attention to that the fact that all 27 EU countries spend on military spending 3 or 4 times more than Russia. And I asked "and who is afraid of whom?"

He noted that in the future, the European Union needs to attend to at least two points - a single foreign policy and defense.

The President said: "First, how can we have a common foreign policy? I do not want us to become a colony of the United States or China, or Russia, or anyone else. We are Europeans and we can be proud of this without arrogance. I also see the need for better coordination in our defensive policy. "

He also added that in the long term, in 20 years, the importance of gas and oil exports will change due to efforts to combat the climate crisis, which will affect Russia.