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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

French legislators endorse Macron’s approach to Ukraine

France’s Assemblée Nationale approved the government’s Ukraine strategy on Tuesday, March 12, which includes a bilateral security agreement signed by Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Volodymyr Zelensky last month. Similar discussions were scheduled to take place in the Sénat on Wednesday.

Addressing the chamber before the vote, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal emphasized the importance of unity behind Ukraine, stating that the country awaits confirmation of support. He cautioned that the conflict has reached a critical juncture, with potential tangible dangers posed by a Russian victory for the French populace.

The symbolic vote compelled political parties to take a public stance on the ongoing conflict, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its third year. The far-right Rassemblement National (RN), which leads Macron’s coalition by a significant margin in the upcoming June European elections according to polls, chose to abstain, while the radical-left La France Insoumise party voted against.

In his address preceding the vote, Attal criticized the RN, suggesting that abstaining amounts to evading historical responsibility and betraying core values. He concluded his speech with the Ukrainian battle cry of “Slava Ukraini.”

In response to Macron’s stance on the Ukraine crisis, Marine Le Pen, representing the RN, criticized what she termed as “warlike announcements,” particularly Macron’s openness to the idea of deploying Western troops to Ukraine. She also voiced opposition to European sanctions on Russian exports, citing their adverse impact on economies, and rejected the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO and the EU.

Also Read: Armed Men Urge Voting in Russian Election in Occupied Ukraine

Le Pen characterized the vote as a binary choice between supporting Macron or being labeled as pro-Putin, accusing the government of exploiting the international crisis for electoral gain.

Meanwhile, LFI declared its intention to vote against war and opposed the potential accession of Ukraine to NATO and the European Union.

Macron is scheduled to address the war in a prime-time TV broadcast on Thursday evening.

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