It is not that he has become a humanist and respectful of borders. None of us, of course, would be naïve enough to believe that this is the reason why Mr Putin let it be said yesterday that some of his troops were returning to their barracks and that there was still room and time for diplomacy, but then why did he put his foot on the brake?

Because he had made a big mistake. Instead of terrifying and dividing the West, his aggressiveness brought the United States and Europe closer together, closed the ranks of Europeans and advanced the political unity of the Union like never before.

So let us learn from it: let us move even faster towards a common European defence within the Atlantic Alliance and towards the political affirmation of our Union on the international scene.

This is a necessity, an emergency. It is our weapon against Mr Putin and all the Putins in the world.

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