As the Russian and American presidents are due to speak on the war in Ukraine on Tuesday, Frans Timmermans calls for support for Ukraine, to show Russians what European democracy could offer them.
Almost a year after the start of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, “we risk seeing a new iron curtain in Europe”, fears the vice-president of the European Commission, guest of France Inter, Tuesday, February 21. Frans Timmermans also expects to find the same semantics as at the time of the Cold War, in the speeches planned by Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutine. The head of the Kremlin intends to address the Russian political elite, while the American president must speak in Poland, the day after his surprise visit to kyiv.
The Vice-President of the European Commission also fears a martial speech from Vladimir Putin, who denies “the very existence of the Ukrainian nation”. A “dazzling nationalism” which, according to Frans Timmermans, is “fascism”. Vladimir Putin “really needs to create this feeling that Russia is defending itself and being attacked by everyone”, believes the European elected official, who wishes to recall the current degree of censorship in Russia. With many Russian citizens forced to “leave the country or keep quiet, because it has become very dangerous to criticize the president”. “There is no space to disagree with political power, which is in the hands of one person”, regrets Frans Timmermans.
Arm Ukraine And Offer Russians “an Image of Democratic Development”
By helping Ukraine, Europe offers Russians “an image of democratic development which brings prosperity and freedom”, says the Vice-President of the European Commission. Maybe a generation from now, Russians will realize that this is a development that can help their country too.”
Faced with this Russia, which he describes as a “totalitarian state”, Frans Timmermans calls on Europeans to redouble their efforts and continue to support Ukraine. He believes that if we want to “put an end to this war as soon as possible, we must arm the Ukrainians, increase the production of ammunition”, “move forward with the delivery of tanks” and therefore “s ensure that the Ukrainians have the opportunity to defend themselves.”
The vice-president of the European Commission also took advantage of his passage on France Inter to warn China, accused by the American secretary of state of considering a delivery of arms to Russia. “The information we have confirms Antony Blinken’s position”, comments Frans Timmermans. The elected European would like Europe to indicate “clearly” to China “the serious implications” that such a decision would entail.
For the Vice-President of the European Commission, if China “wants to be useful in this conflict, it must convince Vladimir Putin to withdraw behind its borders and stop occupying Ukraine”.
This article is originally published on francetvinfo.fr