Fact Check: Ursula Von Der Leyen Did NOT Push For EU Countries To Send Troops To Ukraine


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: Ursula Von Der Leyen Did NOT Push For EU Countries To Send Troops To Ukraine Urged Caution

Did European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen push for European Union countries to send troops to the Ukrainian battlefront? No, that's not true: Von der Leyen urged EU member states to beef up their defense spending in the face of security risks posed by Russia, Iran, North Korea and other potential adversaries in a speech on February 28, 2024. There has been no proposal for the deployment of troops from European countries in Ukraine.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on March 1, 2024. The presenter, Csenge Gabriella Ibolya (archived here), is a partner at Megafon Center (archived here), which produces social media content in support of Hungary's ruling Fidesz party. Ibolya said (translated from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories staff):

Europe's leading politicians are openly saying that Western soldiers may be marshalled to the Ukrainian front -- indeed, that we in the European Union have to prepare for the risks of war. This, my dear friends, is nothing less than a new step toward dragging us into war. That's precisely what we've been concerned about since the bloody conflict broke out and have been telling everyone to be wary of ... French President Emmanuel Macron and EC President Ursula von der Leyen have crossed this particular red line with their weighty comments. They truly are not working for peace.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-03-06 at 6.25.56.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Mar 6 05:25:56 2024 UTC)

As Ibolya speaks, a news headline appears in the background that makes it clear she is talking about von der Leyen's comments in her speech at the European Parliament's plenary session on February 28, 2024 (archived here). This fact check will focus on the claim about Von der Leyen, not the statement Macron made separately on February 26, 2024 (archived here).

The claim distorts von der Leyen's words, which focused on the need for EU member states to boost their military budgets at a time of global volatility. Von der Leyen said:

In the last years, many European illusions have been shattered. The illusion that peace is permanent. The illusion that economic prosperity might matter more to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin than destroying a free and democratic Ukraine. The illusion that Europe on its own was doing enough on security - be it economic or military, conventional or cyber.

We are seeing the potency and the dangers of a rising and disturbing league of authoritarians. North Korea is delivering order after order of ammunition shells to Russia. And Iran is providing attack drones, and crucially also the technology behind them, to inflict untold damage on Ukrainian cities and citizens. The continuing war in Gaza and the large-scale destabilization in the Middle East point to an era of insecurity and conflict in the region and beyond. And we are also seeing the continued rise of aggressive economic competition and distortion, which brings with it some very real European security risks.

Von der Leyen noted that EU member states had increased defense spending by 20 percent over the past year, and opined that more needed to be done. She said:

The threat of war may not be imminent, but it is not impossible. The risks of war should not be overblown, but they should be prepared for. And that starts with the urgent need to rebuild, replenish, and modernize Member States' armed forces. In doing so, Europe should strive to develop and manufacture the next generation of battle-winning operational capabilities and to ensure it has the sufficient quantity of material and the technological superiority that we may need in the future. That means turbocharging our defence industrial capacity in the next five years.

The European Commission president did not propose sending troops into battle in Ukraine.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been stepping up his broadsides against the EU leadership ahead of elections for the European Parliament scheduled for June 6-9, 2024. At the 0:23 mark of a segment from an interview Orbán gave to Hungarian state radio on February 2, 2024, which was posted to Fidesz's Facebook account the next day (archived here), he said (as translated):

Here, the key question is peace. And we're not doing too well with that, because Brussels is burning with war fever and everything revolves around the war [in Ukraine.] So the European leaders are operating by war logic. Hungary thinks everything should revolve around peace in Brussels, and it should work toward a ceasefire as soon as possible and then peace negotiations.


International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

A Lead Stories egy tényellenőrző oldal, ami mindig a legfrissebb virális álhírek, félrevezető, megtévesztő vagy pontatlan történetek, videók és képek után kutat.
Talált valamit? Küldje el nekünk!.

A Lead Stories



Ossza meg véleményét