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Politics Monitor

Controversy: Sarkozy’s ‘Neutral Ukraine’ Remark Sparks Outrage

In an interview with Figaro on August 16, 2023, former head of state Nicolas Sarkozy spoke about Ukraine. Questioning what he calls his “neutrality” he has drawn the wrath of the representative of kyiv in France, Vadym Omelchenko.

In the midst of a conflict during which Ukraine is fighting for its independence, the former President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy estimated that Kiev should remain a “neutral” country, in an interview with Le Figaro.

The Ukrainian ambassador to France was quick to castigate these remarks, judging, with our colleagues from Ouest-France, his speech “unacceptable”. The current President, Emmanuel Macron, has also reaffirmed France’s support for kyiv.

“Neutral” Ukraine?

Speaking to the national media on August 16, Nicolas Sarkozy felt that Ukraine should remain “neutral” and notably declared that the country should not be part of the European Union and NATO.

His intervention was welcomed by Moscow, notes Le Figaro, the former head of state declaring that “Ukraine is a link between west and east, it must remain so”. Calling for the diplomacy that Ukraine should, according to him, demonstrate vis-à-vis the invading country, Russia, he had also pleaded for a referendum on the annexation of Crimea.

“Unacceptable remarks”

Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech had something to cringe after a year and a half of conflict between Ukraine and Russia after the invasion of the Kremlin led by Vladimir Putin.

In an exclusive interview for Ouest-France, the Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Omelchenko castigated an “unacceptable” speech. According to him, the statements of the former French president could even be the subject of legal proceedings: “I would not be surprised if the Prosecutor General of Ukraine is interested in the remarks made to see if there are constituent elements of a crime”.

“Nicolas Sarkozy’s relations with Russia are recalled” considers the diplomat, Nicolas Sarkozy’s remarks evoking those held by other political actors in Europe, Russians in particular.

France and Crimea

Emmanuel Macron also bounced back on the exit of Nicolas Sarkozy. Without directly pointing to his former predecessor, he took advantage of the Crimean Platform summit organized by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to recall France’s position.

“France recognizes neither the annexation by Russia of Ukrainian territories nor the results of the sham elections which have been organised”, declared the Head of State, welcoming moreover “the historic decision to recognize Ukraine as the candidate status for membership of the European Union”.

The first six F-16s are expected to be delivered to kyiv around New Year’s.
This article is originally published on midilibre.fr

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